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Thread: Central and South Asian DNA Paper

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    Iran_Neo being a Elamo_Dravidian language is as much possible as EHG being Finno_Ugric. I doubt this kind of mesolithic old ancestries only belonged to a single language family. Iran_Neo could be as much a Elamo_Dravidian and PIE component as EHG could be Finno_Ugric and PIE. This is no argument imo.

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    Some reaction from around the net:

    Razib Khan, if you haven't read his piece.
    https://www.gnxp.com/WordPress/2018/...tic-landscape/

    A piece in scroll in:
    https://scroll.in/article/874102/ary...ndian-genetics

    Some more Indian reaction:

    http://www.thehindu.com/news/nationa...le22261315.ece


    "Austro-Asiatic rice culture was superior to western wheat culture because rice is more delicious than wheat, but the Indo-Aryans ultimately established cultural supremacy across South Asia by the Iron Age"

    I actually think he is severely marginalizing the importance of Rice agriculture here. The IVC and Turan cultures relied primarily on wheat and barley agriculture and the decline of their civilizations has been linked to climate change, change of river flows and exhaustion of the land. We can see the IVC reacting to this in the beginning of the second millennium in Gujarat where new settlements begin to appear and the population increases in size as the people switch more heavily to the cultivation of drought resistant millets, meanwhile further north former urban centers are abandoned. This is coupled with the core of Indian civilization and population shifting east away from the Indus valley towards the Ganges as the environment and geography of South Asia as a whole is more partial to rice cultivation than it is wheat or barley.

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    The Bantu language expansion in Africa is clearly related to archaeological objects, Y-DNA E and autosomal profile related to Yoruba. Of course HG from Nigeria would had many morr languages, but expansion could be done by a single group or in other cases they provide a lingua franca if diverse groups are involved, as was Arab in Spain even if the majority of Muslims which won the Visigoths were Berbers.

    Another clear case is Madagascar, you find there Y-DNA O and Asian autosomal ancestry which is clearly related to the Austronesian languages spoken there.

    For english being a 40% old English it is not so, old English is keept but Normands added the 60% of unkown concepts of higher culture, that is vocabulary enrichment, no real admixture of languages.
    "What I've seen so far after my entire career chasing Indoeuropeans is that our solutions look tissue thin and our problems still look monumental" J.P.Mallory

    "The ultimate homeland of the group [PIE] that also spread Anatolian languages is less clear." D. Reich

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    Quote Originally Posted by berun View Post
    The Bantu language expansion in Africa is clearly related to archaeological objects, Y-DNA E and autosomal profile related to Yoruba. Of course HG from Nigeria would had many morr languages, but expansion could be done by a single group or in other cases they provide a lingua franca if diverse groups are involved, as was Arab in Spain even if the majority of Muslims which won the Visigoths were Berbers.

    Another clear case is Madagascar, you find there Y-DNA O and Asian autosomal ancestry which is clearly related to the Austronesian languages spoken there.

    For english being a 40% old English it is not so, old English is keept but Normands added the 60% of unkown concepts of higher culture, that is vocabulary enrichment, no real admixture of languages.
    Not just that. English is not technically a "mixed" language, but the Norman/French/Latin influence went well beyond the "unknown concepts of higher culture". Even basic terms that are very used in the formation of sentences, like, well, "very" and also "just", come from French. Other quite fundamental words of the language (many among the 200-300 most frequently used words of the English language) are also Latinate: people, aunt, uncle, place, try, change, move, air, animal, round, country, etc. The language was profoundly altered mainly through internal, organic evolution (another thing that may, with a few thousands of years, create extremely different language families, albeit ultimately related to each other), but also through contact with other languages, like Norse and French in the case of English. Old English is fundamentally another very different language (not just vocabulary, morphology and syntax too), probably closer to modern German than to modern English.

    I agree with you, though, that in general there is at least some association between the arrival of a language and a new genetic influx, but that's only true for specific events and locations. I don't think that statement necessarily applies for more wide and general expansions, without taking into consideration the specific history and patterns of migration and cultural shift of one place, and especially involving a very broadly defined admixture like "Iranian Farmer" (there was certainly genetic structure within the Iranian Plateau, I wouldn't expect otherwise), which spans across many centuries and may have involved actually several different ethnicities and regions that simply went through the same economic revolution and expanded. Certainly there were a few language families that became successful due to that expansion, but I think the connections between genetics and languages were much more varied than simply "Iranian Farmer people = one Iranian Farmer language".

    They probably were a cluster of related peoples, at least genetically, something like "Modern South European" (and here we have, for many historic reasons, people speaking several language families, from Romance to Slavic and even Semitic Maltese and an isolate like Basque), but not necessarily ONE people with one homogeneous culture, language and ethnic identity.

    Also, in ancient times, especially in early Neolithic times before the development of bigger and more centralized states, as well as better transportation means and means of cultural standardisation (e.g. writing), the linguistic diversity and inter-regional language divergence in most places seem to have been much higher than we, moderners after huge "homogeneizing" trends, usually think.

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ygorcs View Post
    Not just that. English is not technically a "mixed" language, but the Norman/French/Latin influence went well beyond the "unknown concepts of higher culture". Even basic terms that are very used in the formation of sentences, like, well, "very" and also "just", come from French. Other quite fundamental words of the language (many among the 200-300 most frequently used words of the English language) are also Latinate: people, aunt, uncle, place, try, change, move, air, animal, round, country, etc. The language was profoundly altered mainly through internal, organic evolution (another thing that may, with a few thousands of years, create extremely different language families, albeit ultimately related to each other), but also through contact with other languages, like Norse and French in the case of English. Old English is fundamentally another very different language (not just vocabulary, morphology and syntax too), probably closer to modern German than to modern English.

    I agree with you, though, that in general there is at least some association between the arrival of a language and a new genetic influx, but that's only true for specific events and locations. I don't think that statement necessarily applies for more wide and general expansions, without taking into consideration the specific history and patterns of migration and cultural shift of one place, and especially involving a very broadly defined admixture like "Iranian Farmer" (there was certainly genetic structure within the Iranian Plateau, I wouldn't expect otherwise), which spans across many centuries and may have involved actually several different ethnicities and regions that simply went through the same economic revolution and expanded. Certainly there were a few language families that became successful due to that expansion, but I think the connections between genetics and languages were much more varied than simply "Iranian Farmer people = one Iranian Farmer language".

    They probably were a cluster of related peoples, at least genetically, something like "Modern South European" (and here we have, for many historic reasons, people speaking several language families, from Romance to Slavic and even Semitic Maltese and an isolate like Basque), but not necessarily ONE people with one homogeneous culture, language and ethnic identity.

    Also, in ancient times, especially in early Neolithic times before the development of bigger and more centralized states, as well as better transportation means and means of cultural standardisation (e.g. writing), the linguistic diversity and inter-regional language divergence in most places seem to have been much higher than we, moderners after huge "homogeneizing" trends, usually think.
    Hi, Ygorcs. I agree with you as to the genetic/ethnic complexity of the Middle-East at the time you are talking about. I would disagree, however, on your analysis of what happens when two languages meet.

    I think people don't change languages so easily. Only when compelled, somehow, either by conquest or under powerful economic constraint. It took English and Norman French 250 years to really blend after the Conquest. Gaulish is attested in ancient Gaul as still alive in the late 5C by Sidonius Apollinaris, a learned bishop - in spite of Roman military supremacy, economic dominance and cultural prestige. Languages yield only when they can no longer resist.

    Besides, what follows the encounter of two languages is usually a drastic simplification of the morphological complexities of either. Latin : six cases. Old Gaulish : probably the same. Old French : two cases. Modern : zero. The cases which survived in German disappeared in English after William's arrival. What we see in PIE is just the opposite : a high degree of morphological complexity. As I see things, it must have taken a very strong linguistic identity to resist simplification from England to India when the language was imposed on new populations.

    Lexical borrowings are one thing - you borrow a word when your language has none for a given thing. Phonological changes (kw/p) may have occurred due to the locals' difficulties with the sounds. But the grammar ? I doubt a lingua franca would have retained such a complex system of conjugation and declensions - particularly in a region where so many, and so diverse language families were rubbing elbows. I would plead in favor of a very strong linguistic identity, that resisted erosion under pressure.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bicicleur View Post
    isn't Swat 'Indus periphery' ?
    It is. It was not part of the IVC. I am not sure what archaeological evidence there is of Indo-Aryan settlements there in the MLBA. Here is the location of the Swat Valley culture.




    In the context of the Indus Valley Civisilation, it is between the Indus Valley itself and the Shortugai colony on the Oxus River in northern Afghanistan.

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    but the swat people carry 20 % MBA steppe ancestery
    so there must be some migration who brought this element to this people ....

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    Quote Originally Posted by davef View Post
    You can't access it? I can for some reason (I tapped the big blue button that says Download full text PDF and I got there right away). I'm using Firefox on iOS btw
    Link for the pdf of: The Diffusion of Humans and Cultures in the Course of the Spread of Farming
    https://arxiv.org/pdf/1702.06977.pdf
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    It is. It was not part of the IVC. I am not sure what archaeological evidence there is of Indo-Aryan settlements there in the MLBA. Here is the location of the Swat Valley culture.


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gandhara_grave_culture

    what archeologists say :

    The Gandhara grave culture may be an artifact of the Indo-Aryan migrations, but it may also be explained by regional cultural continuity.

    autosomal DNA says Indo_Aryan influences, Y-DNA says regional continuity

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    Quote Originally Posted by Promenade View Post
    For those who want more from South Asia, Salden at Eurogenes shared this:

    https://twitter.com/amwkim/status/981882764495654912

    9th century CE from Roopkund which includes a group without South Asian ancestry that groups with modern Greeks and have excess Levant BA ancestry...
    From the link:

    "Roopkund1 closest by various metrics to present-day Greeks but not a clade with them because of excess Near Eastern affinity (Levant BA best proxy)"


    What does this part about being close but not on a clade with greeks imply?
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    Quote Originally Posted by bicicleur View Post
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gandhara_grave_culture

    what archeologists say :

    The Gandhara grave culture may be an artifact of the Indo-Aryan migrations, but it may also be explained by regional cultural continuity.

    autosomal DNA says Indo_Aryan influences, Y-DNA says regional continuity
    And there's the conundrum. Unless there's pseudo steppe there as the result of Iran like alleles accompanied by ANF from the west and Western Siberian hunter-gatherer. The author says not, but it looks pretty ambiguous to me. We'll see what some relatively objective people come up with when they have the actual samples.

    Given they got nothing from the IVC samples, it doesn't bode well for the clear cut answers coming from other places in India.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Johane Derite View Post
    From the link:

    "Roopkund1 closest by various metrics to present-day Greeks but not a clade with them because of excess Near Eastern affinity (Levant BA best proxy)"


    What does this part about being close but not on a clade with greeks imply?
    Levant_BA shifted Greeks from 900 CE sounds a lot like Eastern Romans to me. I'm at a loss as to what they were doing in those mountains though.

    That reminds me that there was a little preview of an upcoming paper on Greek DNA from the neolithic, antiquity and the medieval age a couple of months ago which found oddball R1b1b in ancient Greece. Does anyone know more?

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    2 out of 2 members found this post helpful.
    I posted this on another thread, but I think a reference belongs here as well.

    " It seems as if the Botai horses might not have had anything to do with the Indo-European migrations. So much for all of the theories built on that.

    "That none of the domesticates sampled in the past ~4000 years descend from the horses first herded at Botai entails another major implication. It suggests that during the third millennium BCE, at the latest, another unrelated group of horses became the source of all domestic populations that expanded thereafter.

    This is compatible with two scenarios. First, Botai-type horses experienced massive introgression capture (
    22) from a population of wild horses until the Botai ancestry was almost completely replaced.

    Alternatively, horses were successfully domesticated in a second domestication center and incorporated minute amounts of Botai ancestry during their expansion. We cannot identify the locus of this hypothetical center because of a temporal gap in our data set throughout the third millennium BCE. However, that the earliest DOM2 member was excavated in Hungary adds Eastern Europe to other candidates already suggested, including the Pontic-Caspian steppe (
    2), Eastern Anatolia (23), Iberia (24), Western Iran, and the Levant (25).

    Notwithstanding the process underlying the genomic turnover observed, the clustering of ~4023- to 3574-year-old specimens from Russia, Romania, and Georgia within DOM2 suggests that this clade already expanded throughout the steppes and Europe at the transition between the third and second millennia BCE, in line with the demographic expansion at ~4500 years ago recovered in mitochondrial Bayesian Skylines (fig. S14).
    This study shows that the horses exploited by the Botai people later became the feral PH.

    Early domestication most likely followed the “prey pathway,” whereby a hunting relationship was intensified until reaching concern for future progeny through husbandry, exploitation of milk, and harnessing (7). Other horses, however, were the main source of domestic stock over the past ~4000 years or more.

    Ancient human genomics (26) has revealed considerable human migrations ~5000 years ago involving Yamnaya culture pastoralists of the Pontic-Caspian steppe. This expansion might be associated with the genomic turnover identified in horses, especially if Botai horses were better suited to localized pastoral activity than to long distance travel and warfare. Future work must focus on identifying the main source of the domestic horse stock and investigating how the multiple human cultures managed the available genetic variation to forge the many horse types known in history."

    http://science.sciencemag.org/content/360/6384/111.full

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    3 out of 3 members found this post helpful.
    Finally found sources for this spread of agriculture and animal herding onto the steppe from over the Caucasus, and not just a statistical model.

    See:
    https://revije.ff.uni-lj.si/Document...view/39.1/1542

    Basically, one could read the data as proposing a western spread from Tripolye areas to western Ukraine, but also as a spread from the south for eastern areas.

    "According to Telegin (1968), the contacts betweenthe Dnieper-Donets forager cultures and the Tripolyefarmer populations are marked by the appearanceof Tripolye pottery imports, the occurrence of cerealimpressions in pottery, and some domesticated animalremains (Telegin 1968). The further eastwardspread of cereal cultivation to the other half of Ukraine(eastwards from the Dnieper River) as well as tothe south-east did not occur until the 4500–3000 BP(e.g., Velichko et al. 2009.7).

    Some researchers, however, have envisaged cropcultivation and the formation of domestic animalhusbandries in Ukraine arriving from the opposite direction. direction – the Caucaso-Caspian corridor (Shnirelman1989; 1992; Jacobs 1993; 1994; Kotova 2003;Levkovskaya et al. 2003; Kotova, Makhortykh 2009).Based on human dental studies from the DnieperRapids, Ukraine Jacobs (1993; 1994) for example,suggested the possibility of an independent andpre-Danubian route of cereal cultivation in centralUkraine, arriving via the corridor between the Blackand Caspian Seas. Some Ukrainian archaeologists,such as Nadezdha Kotova, have envisaged a veryearly Neolithic agriculture in south-eastern Ukraine(starting from end of the 7th millennium calBC) (Kotova2003). Kotova based her arguments on PotteryNeolithic sites in the northern Azov Sea region andLower Don River, where domesticated animal bones,reaping knives, pestles, horn mattocks, grindingstones and cereal pollen have been reported (Belanovskaya1995). The available pollen evidence includes‘20 large grass pollen grains’, presumed tobe of cereal type, from the Neolithic level (attributedto 6350 calBC) at the Matveev Kurgan–I site onthe northwest coast of the Azov Sea."

    The animals seem, while they include some cattle, to have mostly been sheep and goats, probably because of more drought in the southern areas of the steppe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ygorcs View Post
    Not just that. English is not technically a "mixed" language, but the Norman/French/Latin influence went well beyond the "unknown concepts of higher culture". Even basic terms that are very used in the formation of sentences, like, well, "very" and also "just", come from French. Other quite fundamental words of the language (many among the 200-300 most frequently used words of the English language) are also Latinate: people, aunt, uncle, place, try, change, move, air, animal, round, country, etc. The language was profoundly altered mainly through internal, organic evolution (another thing that may, with a few thousands of years, create extremely different language families, albeit ultimately related to each other), but also through contact with other languages, like Norse and French in the case of English. Old English is fundamentally another very different language (not just vocabulary, morphology and syntax too), probably closer to modern German than to modern English.

    I agree with you, though, that in general there is at least some association between the arrival of a language and a new genetic influx, but that's only true for specific events and locations. I don't think that statement necessarily applies for more wide and general expansions, without taking into consideration the specific history and patterns of migration and cultural shift of one place, and especially involving a very broadly defined admixture like "Iranian Farmer" (there was certainly genetic structure within the Iranian Plateau, I wouldn't expect otherwise), which spans across many centuries and may have involved actually several different ethnicities and regions that simply went through the same economic revolution and expanded. Certainly there were a few language families that became successful due to that expansion, but I think the connections between genetics and languages were much more varied than simply "Iranian Farmer people = one Iranian Farmer language".

    They probably were a cluster of related peoples, at least genetically, something like "Modern South European" (and here we have, for many historic reasons, people speaking several language families, from Romance to Slavic and even Semitic Maltese and an isolate like Basque), but not necessarily ONE people with one homogeneous culture, language and ethnic identity.

    Also, in ancient times, especially in early Neolithic times before the development of bigger and more centralized states, as well as better transportation means and means of cultural standardisation (e.g. writing), the linguistic diversity and inter-regional language divergence in most places seem to have been much higher than we, moderners after huge "homogeneizing" trends, usually think.
    You can see that the words you expose are specialized words, abstract words, no core words.

    But yeah, I don't think in plane events as suggested, there was surely much more complexity, but the trend is real, the Bantu expansion is more recent and it can be tracked much better; the Bantu is itself a branch of the Niger-Congo family where the other branches had minor expansions. In fact colonizing events are related to a single language, per example Haiti has people of very different origin but Creole French is spoken by everybody.

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by bicicleur View Post
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gandhara_grave_culture
    what archeologists say :
    The Gandhara grave culture may be an artifact of the Indo-Aryan migrations, but it may also be explained by regional cultural continuity.
    autosomal DNA says Indo_Aryan influences, Y-DNA says regional continuity
    The archeological evidence seems to match with the genetics here, that this was a mixed population. The major surprise is no BMAC ancestry and the odd Y-DNA

    "GANDHARA GRAVE COMPLEX:
    A second-millennium culture in Swat, with a range of distinctive funerary practices and material reflecting both local and intrusive cultural features, including the presence of horses."


    "In the valleys of Swat and the extreme northwest,where long-established routes led through the mountains to northern Iran and
    Central Asia, the period after 2000 BCE saw the emergence of distinctive new burial rites associated with settlements such as Ghaligai, Loebanr, and Kalakoderay. Collectively these are known as the Gandhara Grave Complex. The funerary rites are distinguished by their diversity and by their regional and chronological variation. They included cremation and complete and fractional inhumation. Complete bodies were placed on their backs with their knees bent, in pits capped with stone slabs and sometimes lined with drystone walling. People were generally buried singly or in pairs. Children were sometimes interred in small slab cists. Cremated bones were placed in pottery cists or urns, some with pinched and cut-out decoration in the form of a face, or directly in the grave. The associated grave goods included pottery, violin-shaped human figurines, and metal objects, especially pins with elaborate heads. Many of these were closely similar to artifacts from sites in northern Iran, the BMAC, and the Caucasus, and it is thought that this reflects the arrival of numerous small groups of immigrants over the course of the second millennium. This is supported by the presence of horses in a few graves and by depictions of horses on pottery.

    "Despite these foreign elements, there was also continuity, with settlements of pit houses whose inhabitants practiced mixed farming, though at some sites rice was now grown as well as wheat and barley, and grapes as well as pulses. Links continued with the Taxila Valley to the south, and with Kashmir where rice cultivation also began and a few copper objects now appeared."

    "Horses reached South Asia from steppe cultures north of the Caspian, by way of Turkmenia, Bactria, and perhaps Seistan. The earliest indubitable evidence of the domestic horse in the subcontinent comes from Pirak, well after the Mature Harappan period: There horse bones and horse figurinesare known in period I (from 1700 BCE), while in period II there were also figurines of horse riders. Horses appear at a number of second and early first millennium sites in South Asia, ranging from the Gandhara Graves in the north to the South Indian megaliths. Second millennium sherds from Birkot Ghundai in the Swat valley unmistakably depict horses; in contrast, there are no Harappan depictions of horses."


    "In the early second millennium, people from the BMAC in Bactria and Margian expanded into adjacent regions, including Seistan, from where they penetrated the Indus region or traded with its inhabitants. This took place, however, after the Indus decline had begun: BMAC material occurs in Baluchistan, in Pirak and other sites on the Kachi plain, alongside Cemetery H material at Harappa and Jhukar material in Sindh, and in the Gandhara Graves in Swat, as well as much farther south at Gilund in Rajasthan. The physical diversity of the skeletons from the final period at Mohenjo-daro suggests that some were outsiders. Burned settlementsin Baluchistan suggest that the newcomers came as raiders rather than as traders, though there is little evidence that this was also the case in the Indus region."

    "Linguistic evidence indicates that Proto-Indo-Iranians, pastoral nomads from the steppe, spent some time in contact with the BMAC. Later groups of their Indo-Aryan-speaking descendants began to appear in the northern part of the subcontinent, including Swat. The most apparent archaeological trace of their arrival is the appearance, for the first time in the subcontinent, of domestic horses. They began to penetrate the Punjab some time between 1700 and 1500 BCE, well after the disintegration of the Harappan state."

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    Quote Originally Posted by berun View Post
    You can see that the words you expose are specialized words, abstract words, no core words.

    But yeah, I don't think in plane events as suggested, there was surely much more complexity, but the trend is real, the Bantu expansion is more recent and it can be tracked much better; the Bantu is itself a branch of the Niger-Congo family where the other branches had minor expansions. In fact colonizing events are related to a single language, per example Haiti has people of very different origin but Creole French is spoken by everybody.
    Well, I certainly can't think of words like "animal, aunt, uncle, river, place, people" as specialized, much less abstract words, actually they refer to quite concrete parts of people's lives, and considering that they are among the 200 most used words of the language I'd argue about their not being part of the "core" vocabulary, but whatever, that's fine...

    Yes, but again as you say the relationships are not so straightforward. Which families really should be included as part of Niger-Congo is still an issue that is a controversial in the sense that if the common relationship between ALL Niger-Congo branches do exist they're extremely old and, for some branches, extremely tenuous, ultimately it is more of a macro-family with several language families each one with their own distinct historic journey (and genetic/cultural evolution). Some of those populations with heavy Yoruba-like ancestry also, at least in modern days, speak Afro-Asiatic or Nilo-Saharan languages, or even, increasingly, Indo-European ones.

    So, there is definitely some correlation, but it's not a certain one, nor a categorical one. For instance, we can even say that the Yoruba-like (not even a Bantu language itself) admixture is related to a huge expansion throughout Subsaharan Africa, BUT if it were not for the fact that that expansion is relatively recent and clearly demonstrated in the wide distribution of the Bantu language family we would be able just to say that it is probably related to some Niger-Congo language(s), but nothing much more specific than that. We wouldn't be able to know which of those intensely diverged language families was associated with that expansion.

    And keep in mind that that is a much more recent phenomenon, post-Bronze Age, and not an expansion of an admixture dating to the early Neolithic period, with much more time of divergence, but also most probably with much higher lingusitic diversity (for some reason, maybe even just much smaller population density, almost all places that were still living in Neolithic-like stages of societal development, until historic times, had a much higher level of diversity than post-Metal Ages societies).

    Then there is also the increasing evidence that language shift happened in very unusual ways in some ancient societies, like the aforementioned and very unexpected results on the Melanesian Oceania, where Austronesian languages seem to have lingered on DESPITE a genetic replacement of over 80% or even 90%, possibly due to a slow, piecemeal rate of immigration of Papuan peoples into the Austronesian-speaking islands, using the local languages as a lingua franca and at least initially as a necessary language to get by in the new homeland. There is also the widely known case of Magyar/Hungarian in Hungary and so on.

    The correlation is an important one to be investigated, I agree, but I think that, when you talk about very ancient admixtures like Neolithic Iranian farmer, the highest probability is that the expansion took place in different ways, different periods, different homelands and cultural contexts, so it most probably involved several different language families, even if some of them were very distantly related with links that are now unreconstructible because they are way too old for us, modern people (that is, dating back to Palaeolithic times, since they were already diverged in the early-mid Neolithic).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    It's nonsense to reject the whole R1a branch as Indo-European, as they correlates extremely well with Baltic, Slavic, Indo-Aryan and Iranian branches of IE languages.
    You know what the R1a branch actually correlates extremely well with? Scythians. What Herodotus wrote about Scythians' origins makes more sense now than ever before:

    "The wandering Scythians once dwelt in Asia, and there warred with the Massagetae but with ill success; they therefore quitted their homes, crossed the Araxes, and entered the land of Cimmeria."

    "From the time of their origin, that is to say from the first king Targitaos, to the passing over of Dareios against them [512 BC], they say that there is a period of a thousand years and no more."

    So around 1500BC an Indoeuropean group from Iran moves into the Steppe and becomes the ruling elite of the non-IE R1a locals, within the next 1000 years the locals learn satem IE speech of the ruling class (including Baltoslavic).

    Then from the 2nd century BC to the 4th century AD there is the massive Indo-Scythian migration into Pakistan, Afghanistan and India that finally brought R1a into that region. The original Indo-Iranians who were mostly J2 (But also some L, G, R1b) had Indoeuropeanized that region long before the R1a Scythian invasion though.
    Last edited by Saetrus; 07-04-18 at 01:49.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hrvclv View Post
    Hi, Ygorcs. I agree with you as to the genetic/ethnic complexity of the Middle-East at the time you are talking about. I would disagree, however, on your analysis of what happens when two languages meet.

    I think people don't change languages so easily. Only when compelled, somehow, either by conquest or under powerful economic constraint. It took English and Norman French 250 years to really blend after the Conquest. Gaulish is attested in ancient Gaul as still alive in the late 5C by Sidonius Apollinaris, a learned bishop - in spite of Roman military supremacy, economic dominance and cultural prestige. Languages yield only when they can no longer resist.

    Besides, what follows the encounter of two languages is usually a drastic simplification of the morphological complexities of either. Latin : six cases. Old Gaulish : probably the same. Old French : two cases. Modern : zero. The cases which survived in German disappeared in English after William's arrival. What we see in PIE is just the opposite : a high degree of morphological complexity. As I see things, it must have taken a very strong linguistic identity to resist simplification from England to India when the language was imposed on new populations.

    Lexical borrowings are one thing - you borrow a word when your language has none for a given thing. Phonological changes (kw/p) may have occurred due to the locals' difficulties with the sounds. But the grammar ? I doubt a lingua franca would have retained such a complex system of conjugation and declensions - particularly in a region where so many, and so diverse language families were rubbing elbows. I would plead in favor of a very strong linguistic identity, that resisted erosion under pressure.
    I agree for I-E - if a mix of several very different languages it will have required long time to produce its new apparently coherent grammar, maybe with the help of a class of "bards" attached to warlike gentry - so this mixed origin is still very hypothetical -
    aside: concerning English, the penetration of norman/angevin French is linked to high class, descendants of winners for a big part - let's differentiate the today native English from the international academic or high level English; I think the today folk English used more often the short germanic adverbs than the long romance ones, by instance - for nouns, very often, the romance "synonym" has more "greatness" or emphasis than the anglo-saxon one ; as a whole, even if not total: concret picture-full words are Anglo-saxon, abstract meaning words more often Romance - that said, by time, some imperfect fusion occurs, maybe through middle classes and later through school; the syntax shows some Romance and even Brittonic influences, even if light enough -

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    Quote Originally Posted by hrvclv View Post
    Hi, Ygorcs. I agree with you as to the genetic/ethnic complexity of the Middle-East at the time you are talking about. I would disagree, however, on your analysis of what happens when two languages meet.

    I think people don't change languages so easily. Only when compelled, somehow, either by conquest or under powerful economic constraint. It took English and Norman French 250 years to really blend after the Conquest. Gaulish is attested in ancient Gaul as still alive in the late 5C by Sidonius Apollinaris, a learned bishop - in spite of Roman military supremacy, economic dominance and cultural prestige. Languages yield only when they can no longer resist.

    Besides, what follows the encounter of two languages is usually a drastic simplification of the morphological complexities of either. Latin : six cases. Old Gaulish : probably the same. Old French : two cases. Modern : zero. The cases which survived in German disappeared in English after William's arrival. What we see in PIE is just the opposite : a high degree of morphological complexity. As I see things, it must have taken a very strong linguistic identity to resist simplification from England to India when the language was imposed on new populations.

    Lexical borrowings are one thing - you borrow a word when your language has none for a given thing. Phonological changes (kw/p) may have occurred due to the locals' difficulties with the sounds. But the grammar ? I doubt a lingua franca would have retained such a complex system of conjugation and declensions - particularly in a region where so many, and so diverse language families were rubbing elbows. I would plead in favor of a very strong linguistic identity, that resisted erosion under pressure.
    I don't know, I'd say that during many events in history the vast majority of the people in fat switched their languages quite easily, and only increasingly smaller and scattered pockets resisted until the final extinction... And I'm also really skeptical of this hypothesis (certainly not uncontroversial) that there is necessarily a simplification of morphology and syntax right after the adoption of a language by many originally different peoples, becoming the lingua franca and a bit later the native language of a wide area and large population.

    It seems to me to rely too much on what happened in Western Europe and a few other cases, too, but that is certainly not a general trend and maybe the chronological correlation isn't that strong between the assimilation of foreign peoples and the simplification of the language. For instance, the period of really massive adoption of English by foreigners wasn't after the Norman conquest, but before with the assimilation of the Celts and a bit later of the Norse, yet Old English still had a very complex grammar.

    Norse, by the way, is an interesting example of an opposite evidence: it went through the same intense simplification of syntax and morphology as English, but it developed organically among people who mostly already spoke a North Germanic language since many generations earlier, not assimilating huge foreign populations.

    Another example that demonstrates that this hypothesis of "foreign people adopting the language > they don't speak it properly > the language gets simplified" is a bit too simplistic is that the bulk of the loss of morphological and syntactic complexities in Latin happened mainly after the 4th century and especially after the 6th century AD, when by that time the vast majority of the people had been Romanized for several generations, even centuries, and only small pockets of other languages resisted (yes, including the example you have about the Gaulish language in the 5th century AD, when it was clearly a fringe rural language). The really intense simplification of the grammar, even in Vulgar Latin, seems to have happened when Latin had already stood the test centuries earlier, but then internal processes, like phonological changes that levelled out some previous distinctions in declensions, caused the whole system to crumble.

    Besides, people who already speak languages with complex morphology and syntax wouldn't find anything very "alien" in a complex system like that of PIE or, later, Sanskrit or Latin, and eventual simplification could've been, as many linguists assert, simply an internal, systemic evolution that, still according to them, happens in the very long term in most languages forming a pendulum ranging from more analyctical to more syntactic or even agglutatinative.

    For example, we can see that Magyar, which is still extremely complex in grammar, was successfully imposed onto the local population by a small elite minority that soon left few genetic and even cultural impacts. Another example is the expansion of Russian in North Asia, Turkish in Anatolia (Turkish is in fact more conservative - and complex - than some other Turkic languages still located in/near the steppes), Vedic Sanskrit in India (only much later in some old Prakrits the morphology and syntax would start to simplify a lot), etc.

    But just to finish this post let me just state that that whole hypothesis about "mixed" origins of PIE does not refer to the period of Late PIE when it began to expand, so I'm not assuming that those who spread PIE didn't form a "strong linguistic identity". They certainly did, but we can't say the same about their ancestors when the earliest forms of PIE appeared.

    That hypothesis is actually about the origins of the early PIE, or maybe even its direct ancestor, in order to account for the seeming typological and lexical connections of PIE with some Caucasian language families, mainly Northwestern Caucasian and Kartvelian. "Mixed" wouldn't be the most technical term, for I think the assumption was that a Caucasian (or maybe Iranian?) language was imposed onto a local North Eurasian population, with its native language becoming a relevant substrate in the vocabulary and maybe also grammar. The core structure of the language of course wouldn't "mix", unless PIE were a creole, but it definitely has no characteristics of a true creole.

    But all that process would've happened thousands of years BEFORE the PIE expansion, in the very beginning, so there was more than enough time for growing complexity and innovations in PIE - and in fact if you consider the Anatolian IE branch "archaic", that is, more conservative and not full of simplifying innovations, it does seem like the language of Indo-Europeans became increasingly complex and inflected along the time, because Anatolian IE lacks the later masculine/feminine genders and especially it lacks the much more complicated and sophisticated system of verbal tenses and aspects of non-Anatolian Late PIE.

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ygorcs View Post
    The core structure of the language of course wouldn't "mix", unless PIE were a creole, but it definitely has no characteristics of a true creole.

    But all that process would've happened thousands of years BEFORE the PIE expansion, in the very beginning, so there was more than enough time for growing complexity and innovations in PIE - and in fact if you consider the Anatolian IE branch "archaic", that is, more conservative and not full of simplifying innovations, it does seem like the language of Indo-Europeans became increasingly complex and inflected along the time, because Anatolian IE lacks the later masculine/feminine genders and especially it lacks the much more complicated and sophisticated system of verbal tenses and aspects of non-Anatolian Late PIE.
    Wow, just awesome post here. Couple questions:

    How would one identify if a reconstructed language were an ancient creole if said creole were constructed of unknown proto-languages?

    Later PIE appears to have innovated a lot more than is usual, would this be attributed to greater number of external interactions with other languages generally or the quality/significance of the interactions? It seems to me that innovations would come along with major shifts in behavior, for instance, greater preponderance and complexity of trades and industries, not to mention intermarriage between cultural groups.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Saetrus View Post
    You know what the R1a branch actually correlates extremely well with? Scythians.



    What Herodotus wrote about Scythians' origins makes more sense now than ever before:

    "The wandering Scythians once dwelt in Asia, and there warred with the Massagetae but with ill success; they therefore quitted their homes, crossed the Araxes, and entered the land of Cimmeria."

    "From the time of their origin, that is to say from the first king Targitaos, to the passing over of Dareios against them [512 BC], they say that there is a period of a thousand years and no more."

    So around 1500BC an Indoeuropean group from Iran moves into the Steppe and becomes the ruling elite of the non-IE R1a locals, within the next 1000 years the locals learn satem IE speech of the ruling class (including Baltoslavic).

    Then from the 2nd century BC to the 4th century AD there is the massive Indo-Scythian migration into Pakistan, Afghanistan and India that finally brought R1a into that region. The original Indo-Iranians who were mostly J2 had Indoeuropeanized that region long before the R1a Scythian invasion though.
    Well, but it doesn't really correlate well with the R1a in Central-East and Northern Europe, unless we're going to believe the old Polish nationalists and agree with them that the true origins of their ancestral Slavic tribes were mainly in the Scythians and Sarmatians (until now, at least, that's still very doubtful). Nor do I think that that "massive" (is there really strong evidence that it happened this way?) immigration of Scythians could've overwhelmed the extremely populated Late Iron Age India (quite probably, according to many historians, the most populous region in the entire world 2,000 years ago), at least not the point that R1a would became one of the main haplogroups of the male population even in Eastern India and Central/Central-Southern India, which is a bit too far away from the areas where their invasions were felt most intensely.

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    2 out of 2 members found this post helpful.
    Given the reduced percentages of "steppe" in these samples once the Siberian hunter-gatherer ancestry is incorporated, and how it is predicted it might affect Central Asian samples (i.e. Kalash and Pashtuns going perhaps from 50% "steppe" to maybe 26-27%, which are levels similar to those in a lot of southern Europe), I don't think there was a "massive" effect of the steppe on even northwestern upper caste Indians.

    I also think it's quite possible that we will find samples showing that Scythians with smaller amounts of "East Asian" could indeed account for a good chunk of that now reduced "steppe" element.

    There's certainly nothing so far indicating a big gene flow from eastern European related R1a in the period around 2000 to 1000 BCE.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ygorcs View Post
    That hypothesis is actually about the origins of the early PIE, or maybe even its direct ancestor, in order to account for the seeming typological and lexical connections of PIE with some Caucasian language families, mainly Northwestern Caucasian and Kartvelian. "Mixed" wouldn't be the most technical term, for I think the assumption was that a Caucasian (or maybe Iranian?) language was imposed onto a local North Eurasian population, with its native language becoming a relevant substrate in the vocabulary and maybe also grammar. The core structure of the language of course wouldn't "mix", unless PIE were a creole, but it definitely has no characteristics of a true creole.
    Are you referring to Bomhard's and Nicholl's work on the origin of PIE? If so I think they claimed that a North-West Caucasian language provided the substrate in the formation of PIE rather than the superstrate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by markozd View Post
    Are you referring to Bomhard's and Nicholl's work on the origin of PIE? If so I think they claimed that a North-West Caucasian language provided the substrate in the formation of PIE rather than the superstrate.
    Oh, you're right, I inverted the order of the language shift. LOL! The rest of the argument, though, still remains.

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