Commentary on Smith’s papers1
In his two contributions to this issue, Ian Smith nicely sets out criteria to establish language contact. Unfortunately, a rigorous application of the standards listed by Thomason (2001), which he endorses, is detrimental to his argumentation based on the Tamil accusative. Smith furthermore argues that phonological and syntactic influence should go together. This is intended to discredit Sinhala influence, but closer scrutiny of the argument shows that it actually discredits Tamil influence.Smith’s papers furthermore are not informed by the socio-historical data and analysis presented in Nordhoff (2009), which are not compatible with his approach. Furthermore, Smith lists a phonological analysis based on syllable weight as a desideratum; such an analysis is also already found in Nordhoff 2009 and should have been consulted.