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rms2
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« on: March 30, 2012, 06:37:06 PM »

Have you all seen this?

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The prevailing Y-chromosome lineage in Pashtun and Tajik (R1a1a-M17), has the highest observed diversity among populations of the Indus Valley [46]. R1a1a-M17 diversity declines toward the Pontic-Caspian steppe where the mid-Holocene R1a1a7-M458 sublineage is dominant [46]. R1a1a7-M458 was absent in Afghanistan, suggesting that R1a1a-M17 does not support, as previously thought [47], expansions from the Pontic Steppe [3], bringing the Indo-European languages to Central Asia and India.

Quote from: Dienekes
Nonetheless, I can't really disagree with the dismissal of the R-M17/Indo-European theory. R-M17 is simply too populous in South Asia to be the genetic legacy of "Indo-Europeans": (i) under an elite-dominance model, its frequency is way too high (compared to well-attested examples of elite dominance, e.g., Hungary or Turkey where the genetic legacy of the elite element is in the minority), (ii) under a folk migration model, it is difficult to understand why a hypothetical migrating Indo-European people would have such an overwhelming influence in the region while at the same time hardly influencing at all other densely occupied agricultural landscapes of the Eurasian steppe periphery; moreover, no autosomal signal corresponding to a migration from eastern Europe to South Asia really exists -the main cline of variation links South with West Asia, not Europe- and the small signal that does exist does not really correspond to observed levels of R-M17.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2012, 06:39:34 PM by rms2 » Logged

rms2
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« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2012, 06:55:44 PM »

If M458 is the biggy on the Pontic-Caspian steppe, and it is absent from South Asia, then it seems apparent that South Asian R1a does not stem from steppe R1a but vice versa.

That would mean that steppe R1a could not be the vector for Indo-European languages in South Asia unless IE originated there, which seems really unlikely.

Any ideas?
« Last Edit: March 30, 2012, 06:57:21 PM by rms2 » Logged

Jean M
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« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2012, 07:19:06 PM »

The new paper simply accepts the over-early dating  for M458 by Underhill et al. (2010), based on the notorious "evolutionary effective" method. M458  is pretty obviously a Slavic marker, which explains its presence today on the Pontic-Caspian steppe. The distribution of the new SNPs within R1a1, as far as this can be discerned so early in the process, is consistent with a break between eastern and western R1a1 c. 4000 BC. See http://www.familytreedna.com/public/r1a/default.aspx

Dienekes is of course well aware of the problems of the  "evolutionary effective" rate, which he has been prominent in denouncing. But he is also prominent among the opponents of the consensus view of the IE homeland on the P-C steppe, and a passionate advocate of the idea that IE spread from his homeland of Anatolia in the Neolithic.  
« Last Edit: March 30, 2012, 07:24:19 PM by Jean M » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2012, 07:46:17 PM »

They didn't test for Z283 or Z93 as far as I know.  In the R1a1a project, most Z93 is found in Central/SW/S Asia.  Z283 is mostly European.  There is also pre-Z93 and Z283 R1a in Europe and not in India.  M458 is probably post-bronze age in its' movement.  The IE/R1a association is very much alive.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2012, 07:48:41 PM by MHammers » Logged

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NealtheRed
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« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2012, 08:01:42 PM »

Have you all seen this?

Quote
The prevailing Y-chromosome lineage in Pashtun and Tajik (R1a1a-M17), has the highest observed diversity among populations of the Indus Valley [46]. R1a1a-M17 diversity declines toward the Pontic-Caspian steppe where the mid-Holocene R1a1a7-M458 sublineage is dominant [46]. R1a1a7-M458 was absent in Afghanistan, suggesting that R1a1a-M17 does not support, as previously thought [47], expansions from the Pontic Steppe [3], bringing the Indo-European languages to Central Asia and India.

Quote from: Dienekes
Nonetheless, I can't really disagree with the dismissal of the R-M17/Indo-European theory. R-M17 is simply too populous in South Asia to be the genetic legacy of "Indo-Europeans": (i) under an elite-dominance model, its frequency is way too high (compared to well-attested examples of elite dominance, e.g., Hungary or Turkey where the genetic legacy of the elite element is in the minority), (ii) under a folk migration model, it is difficult to understand why a hypothetical migrating Indo-European people would have such an overwhelming influence in the region while at the same time hardly influencing at all other densely occupied agricultural landscapes of the Eurasian steppe periphery; moreover, no autosomal signal corresponding to a migration from eastern Europe to South Asia really exists -the main cline of variation links South with West Asia, not Europe- and the small signal that does exist does not really correspond to observed levels of R-M17.

A few R1a researchers (who are R1a themselves) also opine that the current phylogenetic structure of R1a precludes any clear association with PIE than previously thought.

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rms2
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« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2012, 09:30:07 PM »

The new paper simply accepts the over-early dating  for M458 by Underhill et al. (2010), based on the notorious "evolutionary effective" method. M458  is pretty obviously a Slavic marker, which explains its presence today on the Pontic-Caspian steppe. The distribution of the new SNPs within R1a1, as far as this can be discerned so early in the process, is consistent with a break between eastern and western R1a1 c. 4000 BC. See http://www.familytreedna.com/public/r1a/default.aspx

Dienekes is of course well aware of the problems of the  "evolutionary effective" rate, which he has been prominent in denouncing. But he is also prominent among the opponents of the consensus view of the IE homeland on the P-C steppe, and a passionate advocate of the idea that IE spread from his homeland of Anatolia in the Neolithic.  

I was actually aware of that, but it seems to me M458 would have to be pretty young, post dating the spread of Indo-European into South Asia (circa 1500 BC), to make that work.

So, is M458 thought to have arisen in Eastern Europe after R1a and IE had spread to South Asia? How old is M458 supposed to be?

Aside from Zhivotovsky, why is it that South Asian R1a diversity exceeds that of Pontic-Caspian R1a diversity, if South Asian R1a is derived from Pontic Caspian R1a and newer in its stomping grounds?

« Last Edit: March 30, 2012, 09:34:00 PM by rms2 » Logged

Jean M
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« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2012, 09:53:20 PM »

The problem with using present populations as a proxy for ancient ones in the same locale is that people move around. I know - it is a very tiresome habit! If only people would jut stay put it would be so much simpler.  :) 

The Pontic-Caspian steppe has been a highway for people moving east and west for millennia. I have a map of some of those movements. http://www.buildinghistory.org/distantpast/steppepeoples.shtml

It is misleading in a way that there is R1a1a on the P-C steppe today. People have taken that as support for the IE P-C homeland, when I have been saying for many moons that they shouldn't. The variety of R1a1a there today is relatively recent, dating to the Slavic spread southwards onto the steppe in the Post-Roman period.   

Ancient DNA is much more important. R1a1a has been tracked from Andronovo to Scythian burials. Yes it is unfortunate that the work to do that came before the recent discoveries of SNPs that break down R1a1a. But there is more aDNA on the way.
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rms2
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« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2012, 10:03:26 PM »

How did linguists and archaeologists first zero in on the Pontic-Caspian steppe as the probable Indo-European Urheimat? As I recall, some of them looked at the extent of Eurasian Indo-European languages and figured that Proto-Indo-European must have first arisen about halfway between its eastern and western ends. Thus the Pontic-Caspian steppe became the default hypothetical PIE Urheimat. Its enthusiasts began to assemble evidence to support their favorite. They found horse riding folk had lived there who might have spoken an Indo-European language. Since they left no documentary evidence, we can't even be sure that is true, but it appears early IE had terms for horses and wagons, axles and wheels, etc.

Don't get me wrong; I'm not knocking that argument. I'm just trying to trace it to its source. It started with a geographic guesstimate based on the extent of the spread of the Indo-European languages in Eurasia. Once that was assumed, it remained merely to collect evidence to support it, none of which involved actual proof of any early Indo-European tongue being spoken by any actual inhabitants of the region in the time period in which they were alleged to have spoken it. Honestly, we don't really know what language those people spoke.

On the other hand, there is documentary evidence for the Anatolian IE languages - the earliest such evidence for Indo-European anywhere - and Anthony himself says the Anatolian languages are in an archaic class by themselves, a kind of Pre-Proto-Indo-European class, if I recall his words correctly (I am working from memory and not looking at his book right now).

I honestly think there are some real weaknesses in the Kurgan theory, perhaps fatal weaknesses. I don't have my own full-fledged replacement for that theory worked out, but I think it might involve the steppe people getting their Indo-European from another population first, before eventually spreading it east and south themselves. I think the ultimate source could very well have been eastern Anatolia.

Please, in your responses, don't bother telling me that the horse/wagon terminology is very old in IE because nearly universal and must have come from the steppe, etc. I know all that; I've read Anthony's book three times and Mallory's, In Search of the Indo-Europeans, a couple of times.
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Jean M
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« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2012, 10:16:41 PM »

it seems to me M458 would have to be pretty young, post dating the spread of Indo-European into South Asia (circa 1500 BC), to make that work.

Not really. The group entering South Asia came from people who had been east of the Urals  prior to that, starting about 2100 BC. Genetically the break between eastern and western lines came before M458, which Lappa dates to c. 2,500 BC  http://i1127.photobucket.com/albums/l625/ft-d/R1a-ch.jpg






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Jean M
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« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2012, 10:40:02 PM »

Honestly, we don't really know what language those people spoke.

Of course we don't. That's what makes it such fun, fun, fun. Golly, we can go on arguing this one for ever and a day. There is potential for lots and lots of lectures, books, papers and lengthy forum threads to keep everyone happy. :)

You can count me out though. I think my brain is best employed solving problems that haven't been solved already.

« Last Edit: March 30, 2012, 10:40:54 PM by Jean M » Logged
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« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2012, 03:51:42 AM »

The main evidence for an Urheimat north of the Caucasus comes from contacts with Proto-Uralic. There are linguistic evidence of Proto-Indo-European having contacts with different language families, but none other of these contact partners so far  can match the Uralic language family in the accuracy: we can reconstruct several consequent layers of Indo-European loanwords in Proto-Uralic, while the loanwords between Proto-Indo-European and Kartvelian or Semitic are somewhat more indefinite or vague by their stratification.
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rms2
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« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2012, 03:50:22 PM »

Honestly, we don't really know what language those people spoke.

Of course we don't. That's what makes it such fun, fun, fun. Golly, we can go on arguing this one for ever and a day. There is potential for lots and lots of lectures, books, papers and lengthy forum threads to keep everyone happy. :)

You can count me out though. I think my brain is best employed solving problems that haven't been solved already.



Of course, the implication is that the Indo-European problem has been solved, and the winner is . . . the Kurgan Theory.

I respectfully disagree.

Too many problems with it, especially for the spread of Indo-European to the west.

Last I heard Mallory speak, via a recorded lecture, he didn't sound quite that confident.

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Jean M
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« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2012, 12:32:16 PM »

Last I heard Mallory speak, via a recorded lecture, he didn't sound quite that confident.

No he doesn't go in for certainties. It is a matter of deduction not fact. Mallory likes to present the evidence and leave people to work it out for themselves.

If you are talking about the lectures that Dienekes posted links to, those were the last of a series of staged confrontations between Colin Renfrew and Jim Mallory , before Mallory retired. So instead of wiping the floor with Renfrew (who lost the argument long ago in the eyes of specialists in Indo-European studies), he decided to liven things up by presenting the case against his own position, which he did far more credibly than Renfrew. It was a more subtle kind of triumph. I was amused.
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NealtheRed
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« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2012, 01:32:24 PM »


 So instead of wiping the floor with Renfrew (who lost the argument long ago in the eyes of specialists in Indo-European studies), he decided to liven things up by presenting the case against his own position, which he did far more credibly than Renfrew. It was a more subtle kind of triumph. I was amused.

I am not sure where you get this idea that "specialists of Indo-European" disregard anything other than the Kurgan Theory. That is a bit haughty and misleading. I have read a dearth of literature detailing problems with the Kurgan Theory from knowledgeable academes, not "one-minute" experts who post on forums or blogs.

But the Kurgan Theory is beside the point. The point is that recent discoveries in R1a phylogenetic studies are painting a clearer picture in regards to its affinities with PIE (again, a hypothesized language that predates only the attested Anatolian and Hittite languages). I find it all too hard to swallow that R1a spreads a language across Europe through an R1b conduit, yet does not exist in any considerable number among the population.

That sounds like a house of cards waiting to collapse.
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Jean M
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« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2012, 01:41:57 PM »

I won't say that people disregard all but the consensus view. If you look at any academic textbook introduction to IE, you will most probably see at least one alternative theory mentioned, while giving greater weight to the predominant view. If you look at my online text, you will find that I mention both Renfrew's theory and Palaeolithic Continuity Theory, if only to explain why they don't work.  

Look   - I don't want to spoil anyone's fun here. I'm not intending to be a party pooper. But I have been through so many rounds of this I have a bad case of deja vu. Been there, done that. Got other things on my mind.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2012, 01:42:51 PM by Jean M » Logged
rms2
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« Reply #15 on: April 01, 2012, 05:46:18 PM »

I feel the same way, but not out of conviction that the Kurgan Theory is the ultimate answer. I am just tired of all the various R1a cheerleading squads one encounters on the internet. I am ready to surrender the whole "Super Aryan" field to them. Let 'em have it. Maybe it will make up for all those years that the great bulk of the Slavic population spent in abject serfdom and the years, from 1924-1953, they spent trembling at the feet of a Caucasian tyrant.

R1a gets pretty thin on the ground as one heads west, however, and it's hard to believe that where more advanced and populous societies were unable to impose their language and culture, a much less sophisticated people succeeded in doing so.

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Jean M
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« Reply #16 on: April 01, 2012, 07:24:37 PM »

...  it's hard to believe that where more advanced and populous societies were unable to impose their language and culture, a much less sophisticated people succeeded in doing so.

That is a healthy scepticism. I find it impossible to believe that a tiny scattering of unsophisticated Anglo-Saxons could possibly have imposed their language on the populous and advanced Romano-British. I have even less belief in the  idea that Celtic was picked up in the British Isles from a handful of Iberian traders. Call me suspicious. This is one of the chief reasons for my full frontal attack on anti-migrationism. I think that languages were generally spread in prehistory by their speakers moving en masse, or in sufficient numbers to retain a communicating group which then out-bred the natives (if natives there were in the places they settled.) 
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rms2
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« Reply #17 on: April 01, 2012, 08:16:08 PM »

...  it's hard to believe that where more advanced and populous societies were unable to impose their language and culture, a much less sophisticated people succeeded in doing so.

That is a healthy scepticism. I find it impossible to believe that a tiny scattering of unsophisticated Anglo-Saxons could possibly have imposed their language on the populous and advanced Romano-British. I have even less belief in the  idea that Celtic was picked up in the British Isles from a handful of Iberian traders. Call me suspicious. This is one of the chief reasons for my full frontal attack on anti-migrationism. I think that languages were generally spread in prehistory by their speakers moving en masse, or in sufficient numbers to retain a communicating group which then out-bred the natives (if natives there were in the places they settled.) 

I absolutely agree.

I think the Anglo-Saxons came in large numbers and that R1b had to have a  big hand in bringing Indo-European languages to western Europe. And Celtic was brought to the British Isles probably by Beaker Folk who then proceeded to take over and out-breed the natives.
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« Reply #18 on: April 02, 2012, 04:02:35 AM »

You forget that languages are cultural traits that have non biological ways of expansion
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Jean M
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« Reply #19 on: April 02, 2012, 04:28:17 AM »

@ Ialem - I could scarcely forget something that has been the excuse for dismissing all migration in prehistory and down-playing known migration in early history to the point of triviality. It is abundantly obvious that people can learn languages from people other than their biological parents. It is a known fact that centuries of the Roman Empire succeeded in even changing the first language of parts of that empire to Latin.

Based on this so familiar example, the theory of elite language transmission has been pushed back into prehistory, where it does not belong, and applied to every possible situation as if it were the normal mode of language transmission. Or failing that, terms like "lingua Franca" and "Sprachbund" are tossed around as though they can invariably explain away any necessity for human beings to actually move around in order for a language to move a thousand miles from its initial position.

As you can tell, I am not impressed. I think we need to truly understand modes of language transmission, rather than misusing models for ideological ends.

The reason that we find correlations between Y-DNA haplogroups and language even today is that people generally learn languages from their parents. There are many exceptions of course. We all know about them. But we need to start from that understanding.
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« Reply #20 on: April 02, 2012, 04:36:08 AM »

@ rms2 - You may not realise that what seems commonsense to us is regarded as a  novel idea of astonishing boldness to most British archaeologists. :) 


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Jean M
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« Reply #21 on: April 02, 2012, 05:17:16 AM »

To move on - language itself tells us much about the technological level of the people that spoke it, and what they learned from other peoples and vice-versa. The Anglo-Saxons picked up an enormous amount of vocabulary from Latin and French for example.

The reconstructed PIE lexicon paints a picture of a Copper Age people with a relatively unstructured society, by comparison with the bureaucratic city-dwellers of roughly contemporary Near Eastern civilizations. Those languages ancestral to the Indian and Iranian IE language branches acquired a great deal of vocabulary from an unwritten source (or one whose writings have not survived) to do with urban life and irrigation farming. Several linguists have concluded that this was the language of the BMAC.

Likewise members of the Anatolian IE branch borrowed the words for "king" and "queen", along with literacy, from pre-existing Anatolian peoples. (Incidentally the Anatolian branch was not ancestral to the rest of PIE, but an early branch off it.)  
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« Reply #22 on: April 02, 2012, 04:14:35 PM »

...  it's hard to believe that where more advanced and populous societies were unable to impose their language and culture, a much less sophisticated people succeeded in doing so.

That is a healthy scepticism. I find it impossible to believe that a tiny scattering of unsophisticated Anglo-Saxons could possibly have imposed their language on the populous and advanced Romano-British. I have even less belief in the  idea that Celtic was picked up in the British Isles from a handful of Iberian traders. Call me suspicious. This is one of the chief reasons for my full frontal attack on anti-migrationism. I think that languages were generally spread in prehistory by their speakers moving en masse, or in sufficient numbers to retain a communicating group which then out-bred the natives (if natives there were in the places they settled.) 

This is one of the many areas on which we are in complete agreement.
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« Reply #23 on: April 02, 2012, 05:42:11 PM »

.... I think the Anglo-Saxons came in large numbers and that R1b had to have a  big hand in bringing Indo-European languages to western Europe. And Celtic was brought to the British Isles probably by Beaker Folk who then proceeded to take over and out-breed the natives.
I find linguistics a bit hard to follow which is why I ask these questions:

Are there linguists who try to break up the Celtic languages from a time perspective? Is there any conviction of the timing of the P-celtic split from archaic? Timing of Proto-Celtic from Italo-Celtic?

On the other side of the coin, what were pre-Germanic IE speaking?   It seems like there was a long gray period (at least in my knowledge) between PIE and the development of what became known as Germanic languages. Something was going on. Germanic speakers didn't pop out of a box in N. Europe.

We tend to equate Germanic and Celtic languages as peer in some discussions, but it makes a lot of sense as well, to consider the gradients back to PIE. At some point pre-Germanic and pre-Celtic languages were pretty much the same language.   It might be a surprise to many if we ever found out that was closer to a 1000 BC versus 2800 BC.
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« Reply #24 on: April 02, 2012, 06:04:14 PM »

Estimates of language splits are just that - estimates. But there is a useful survey online of IE trees and  dating: Václav Blažek, On the internal classification of Indo-European languages: survey

As you say, Proto-Germanic is a comparatively modern language, generally dated c. 500 BC, and prior to that we can picture some sort of dialect of PIE spoken in Scandinavia. Proto-Celtic is much older, much closer to PIE. You will see an estimate of c. 1100 BC in Blazek.
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