Alexander D. Smith
Hi! My name is Alexander D. Smith (just Alex is fine). I am a linguist, and a Senior Research Fellow at the National University of Singapore. I received my Ph.D. from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa in 2017 and wrote my dissertation on the languages of Borneo, an island the size of the US state of Texas, and an area of considerable linguistic diversity.
My Linguistic interests are in historical linguistics, and I focus heavily on the comparative study of Austronesian languages. I am currently in charge of managing the content of the Austronesian Comparative Dictionary, a position that was given to me by the late Robert Blust. Please feel free to contact me with any questions regarding the ACD.
I have recently been intrigued by the prospect of working on the Austro-Tai hypothesis, and have some work in this area as well.
Apart from my academic interests, I am involved in various projects dealing with the documentation, description, preservation, and promotion of the indigenous languages of Borneo. I am in the process of uploading my large linguistic datasets to borneodictionary.com, a non-academic site designed for use by local community members in Borneo. I am also currently working on several dictionary projects with different communities in Borneo.
Materials from my fieldwork are stored at the Kaipuleohone language archive, hosted at the University of Hawaiʻi.
Kayanic comparative vocabularies
I will be at the SEALS conference in Chiang Mai in person later this year. seals32.human.cmu.ac.th
I recently presented two papers at the 2022 SEALS conference. You can see them here.
I'll also be at AFLA this year. Check out the conference website.
My latest paper is out in Diachronica: Environmental factors affect the evolution of linguistic subgroups in Borneo, as well as an online-first publication in Diachronica, Reconstructing non-contrastive stress in Austronesian and the role of the mora in stress shift, gemination and vowel shift, Available immediately and to be published in a specific issue at a later date.
I'll have a response to Sagart's numeral based phylogeny in the next Oceanic Linguistics volume.
I am contributing three chapters to an upcoming volume on the Austronesian languages of Southeast Asia. I am covering current theory in Malayo-Polynesian internal subgrouping, Bornean linguistic typology, and the historical linguistics of the languages of Borneo.