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Author Topic: Mapping the Origins and Expansion of the Indo-European Language Family  (Read 32980 times)
Richard Rocca
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« on: August 23, 2012, 04:59:40 PM »

I'm placing it here since it references genetics, is central to our understanding of R1b, and because 99.9% of the posts on this site are R1b specific. Hopefully the moderators will keep it here.

ABSTRACT
There are two competing hypotheses for the origin of the Indo-European language family. The conventional view places the homeland in the Pontic steppes about 6000 years ago. An alternative hypothesis claims that the languages spread from Anatolia with the expansion of farming 8000 to 9500 years ago. We used Bayesian phylogeographic approaches, together with basic vocabulary data from 103 ancient and contemporary Indo-European languages, to explicitly model the expansion of the family and test these hypotheses. We found decisive support for an Anatolian origin over a steppe origin. Both the inferred timing and root location of the Indo-European language trees fit with an agricultural expansion from Anatolia beginning 8000 to 9500 years ago. These results highlight the critical role that phylogeographic inference can play in resolving debates about human prehistory.

http://www.sciencemag.org/content/337/6097/957.full
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Maliclavelli
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« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2012, 05:06:57 PM »

Gray and Atkinson have written this already in the past. Anyway the theory is that of Renfrew, already falsified many times in the past. Anyway also this time we should read the paper, but also this isn’t for free.
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Maliclavelli


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Heber
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« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2012, 06:24:53 PM »

Interesting analysis on the NYTimes.

"Biologists using tools developed for drawing evolutionary family trees say that they have solved a longstanding problem in archaeology: the origin of the Indo-European family of languages...

The result, they announced in Thursday’s issue of the journal Science, is that “we found decisive support for an Anatolian origin over a steppe origin.” Both the timing and the root of the tree of Indo-European languages “fit with an agricultural expansion from Anatolia beginning 8,000 to 9,500 years ago,” they report."

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/24/science/indo-european-languages-originated-in-anatolia-analysis-suggests.html?pagewanted=1&_r=2&hpw
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/08/24/science/0824-origins.html?ref=science

This supports the model of M269 - DF21 as shown below:

http://pinterest.com/pin/32721534763591605/
http://pinterest.com/gerardcorcoran/celtic-migrations-dna/



« Last Edit: August 23, 2012, 06:57:07 PM by Heber » Logged

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rms2
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« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2012, 06:30:48 PM »

I'd like to read the report. Can someone send it to me?

@Jean M

If you're here, will this paper become part of the Mini Library?
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eochaidh
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« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2012, 07:06:44 PM »

Interesting analysis on the NYTimes.

"Biologists using tools developed for drawing evolutionary family trees say that they have solved a longstanding problem in archaeology: the origin of the Indo-European family of languages...

The result, they announced in Thursday’s issue of the journal Science, is that “we found decisive support for an Anatolian origin over a steppe origin.” Both the timing and the root of the tree of Indo-European languages “fit with an agricultural expansion from Anatolia beginning 8,000 to 9,500 years ago,” they report."

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/24/science/indo-european-languages-originated-in-anatolia-analysis-suggests.html?pagewanted=1&_r=2&hpw
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/08/24/science/0824-origins.html?ref=science

This supports the model of M269 - DF21 as shown below:

http://pinterest.com/pin/32721534763591605/
http://pinterest.com/gerardcorcoran/celtic-migrations-dna/





Interesting, thanks.
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Mike Walsh
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« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2012, 07:43:03 PM »

... "Biologists using tools developed for drawing evolutionary family trees say that they have solved a longstanding problem in archaeology: the origin of the Indo-European family of languages...

The result, they announced in Thursday’s issue of the journal Science, is that “we found decisive support for an Anatolian origin over a steppe origin.” Both the timing and the root of the tree of Indo-European languages “fit with an agricultural expansion from Anatolia beginning 8,000 to 9,500 years ago,” they report."

I have three comments, two of which are red flags.

1) A biologist solved an linguist problem.... doesn't sound quite right. I just listened to some lectures by Mallory, Renfrew and Anthony. I don't know if a biologist is going to solve this unless he has a bunch of properly located ancient DNA.

2) They used the words "decisive support." If this is the reporter, okay. If this is the scientific team, that's a red flag. In the business world in which I work when someone says "no problem" we quickly recognize they don't know what they are talking about.

3) I've accepted Jean Manco's interpretation of PIE is, at its base, a hunter-gatherer language.  This hunter-gather foundation does NOT match with an agricultural expansion. Jean M, what do you say? How does this all square with the purported early connection of PIE/pre-PIE with Uralic languages. That's along way from Anatolia.

This supports the model of M269 - DF21 as shown below:

How so other than many of us think M269 expanded from east to west across Europe? I think Vince V. has the perspective that M269 came out of the Near East, at least the northern parts of it. I realize that is close to Anatolia but that is not quite the same thing.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2012, 07:49:11 PM by Mikewww » Logged

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Heber
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« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2012, 08:28:47 PM »

Another interesting analysis in Scientific American. This article has an animated map, showing the spread of PIE, which I don't necessarily agree with.

"Languages as diverse as English, Russian and Hindi can trace their roots back more than 8,000 years to Anatolia — now in modern-day Turkey. That's the conclusion of a study that assessed 103 ancient and contemporary languages using a technique normally used to study the evolution and spread of disease. The researchers hope that their findings can settle a long-running debate about the origins of the Indo-European language group."

“Finally we have a clear spatial picture,” says Colin Renfrew at the University of Cambridge, UK, who originally proposed Anatolia as the source of the Indo-European language family. But he predicts that many historical linguists will be slow to accept the evidence. “The structure of 'Indo-European studies' has been founded for so long on the myth of mounted Kurgan warrior horsemen riding down from the Russian steppes that it will take scholars a while to recover,” he says.

Oh la, la....

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=disease-maps-pinpoint-origin-of-indo-european-languages


« Last Edit: August 23, 2012, 08:29:14 PM by Heber » Logged

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rms2
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« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2012, 08:39:56 PM »

I imagine Gioiello is right and they did something like what Gray and Atkinson did, which I would not dismiss out of hand as wrong.

Still, I would like to read the actual report.
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Jean M
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« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2012, 09:22:55 PM »

I'd like to read the report. Can someone send it to me?

@Jean M

If you're here, will this paper become part of the Mini Library?

It's in there, courtesy of R.R.
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Jean M
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« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2012, 09:25:58 PM »

I imagine Gioiello is right and they did something like what Gray and Atkinson did..

Yes it is Gray and Atkinson again, plus a few more non-linguists who can't resist playing with numbers.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2012, 09:38:50 PM by Jean M » Logged
Jean M
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« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2012, 09:38:30 PM »

Jean M, what do you say?

I don't need to say a thing. David Anthony commented on the paper to the New York Times. The link is given by Heber. Gray and Atkinson's first attempt was ripped apart by linguists and all the same applies again.
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Richard Rocca
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« Reply #11 on: August 23, 2012, 09:42:00 PM »

I'd like to read the report. Can someone send it to me?

@Jean M

If you're here, will this paper become part of the Mini Library?

It's in there, courtesy of R.R.

...there goes the Supplementary Materials...all 57 pages of it.
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Richard Rocca
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« Reply #12 on: August 23, 2012, 10:06:42 PM »

Linguists have been battling this out for 100 years and we are none the wiser for it. We can knock the authors, but we cannot knock the credentials of Colin Renfrew that backs the paper... (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colin_Renfrew,_Baron_Renfrew_of_Kaimsthorn)

At a high level, this model looks a lot closer to a probable R1b+R1a expansion model than the Kurgan hypothesis that overall only satisfies the spread of some R1a. The thing that might be off is their dating of the older parts of the tree. However, they seem to have the Slavic languages branching off from the Italic-Celtic-Germanic branch around 3700-3600 BC which is around the time that prestige burials appear in North-Central Italy. They then have the Italic-Celtic split at around 2500 BC which is probably the biggest period of Bell Beaker (Belgeitkeramik and Rhone-Rhine) expansion in Central Europe.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2012, 10:07:25 PM by Richard Rocca » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: August 23, 2012, 10:24:40 PM »

Linguists have been battling this out for 100 years and we are none the wiser for it. We can knock the authors, but we cannot knock the credentials of Colin Renfrew that backs the paper...

We can refuse to knock Renfrew's credentials, but that does not mean he is correct.

Should we knock Mallory's credentials? These two disagree vehemently, and have done so for years.

So to me, their credentials cancel each other out (or dare I say who cares? at risk of my knighthood again) ... so let's get on to the real debate of the issues.

As for a biologists mathematical model applied to linguistics, I'm a bit skeptical.... but I do agree R1b has lot of genetic data associated with the Near East and just East of that rather than the Steppes.  To me that is the issue.

Linguistically, how does a out of Anatolia model square with an early Uralic influence?

How does an "agricultral expansion" proposed by the authors square with a hunter-gatherer foundation for PIE? Or is Jean wrong on that?
« Last Edit: August 23, 2012, 10:38:32 PM by Mikewww » Logged

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« Reply #14 on: August 23, 2012, 10:29:03 PM »

... At a high level, this model looks a lot closer to a probable R1b+R1a expansion model than the Kurgan hypothesis that overall only satisfies the spread of some R1a....

Can you be more specific on how the Anatolian model is a better fit for R1b+R1a than a Steppes hypothesis?

Is R1a of high diversity in Anatolia or something?  Is R1b's diversity highest in Anatolia?   ... or are you saying the primary point is R1b expanded into Europe from Anatolia?

I may be missing something but I do respect Vince V's opinions on the earliest branching of of R1b. It seems to be associated with areas south or south and east of Anatolia. The earliest branching of R1b is where the trail back to R1a should lead.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2012, 10:33:35 PM by Mikewww » Logged

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vineviz
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« Reply #15 on: August 23, 2012, 10:38:50 PM »

I have just started reading the paper, but I do give the authors credit for this bit:

Quote
Despite support for an Anatolian Indo- European origin, we think it unlikely that agricul- ture serves as the sole driver of language expansion on the continent. The five major Indo-European subfamilies—Celtic, Germanic, Italic, Balto-Slavic, and Indo-Iranian—all emerged as distinct lineages between 4000 and 6000 years ago (Fig. 2 and fig. S1), contemporaneous with a number of later cul- tural expansions evident in the archaeological record, including the Kurgan expansion (5–7). Our inferred tree also shows that within each subfamily, the lan- guages we sampled began to diversify between 2000 and 4500 years ago, well after the agricul- tural expansion had run its course.
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Richard Rocca
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« Reply #16 on: August 23, 2012, 10:54:32 PM »

Can you be more specific on how the Anatolian model is a better fit for R1b+R1a than a Steppes hypothesis?

Is R1a of high diversity in Anatolia or something?  Is R1b's diversity highest in Anatolia?   ... or are you saying the primary point is R1b expanded into Europe from Anatolia?

I may be missing something but I do respect Vince V's opinions on the earliest branching of of R1b. It seems to be associated with areas south or south and east of Anatolia. The earliest branching of R1b is where the trail back to R1a should lead.

By R1a and R1b I was generalizing. I really meant the two main branches responsible for modern IE lineages: R1a1a and R1b1a2.
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Jean M
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« Reply #17 on: August 24, 2012, 03:22:07 AM »

...there goes the Supplementary Materials...all 57 pages of it.

Received with thanks and uploaded.
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Jean M
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« Reply #18 on: August 24, 2012, 03:28:00 AM »

Linguists have been battling this out for 100 years and we are none the wiser for it. We can knock the authors, but we cannot knock the credentials of Colin Renfrew..

Linguists are not in battle. Colin Renfrew is an archaeologist. Mallory has PhDs in both linguistics and archaeology.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2012, 03:29:17 AM by Jean M » Logged
Jean M
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« Reply #19 on: August 24, 2012, 03:44:26 AM »

Or is Jean wrong on that?

Please don't drag me into it Mike, as though I have personally made a contribution to this linguistic debate. As I keep pointing out, I have not. Linguists sorted out the PIE homeland debate before I knew anything about it. It is absolutely nothing to do with me.

What I have been doing is attempting to mesh together genetics, linguistics, archaeology, history and any other useful discipline to draw an outline at least of the major migrations involved in the peopling of Europe. Right now I'm limping, exhausted, towards the end of a reshuffle/revision of material for eventual print. I cannot spare the time to join the ever-popular PIE homeland debate. I swore off this remember. :)
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Heber
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« Reply #20 on: August 24, 2012, 04:03:07 AM »

I noted the following regarding the Celtic Language. It is a pity that the database lacks Continental Celtic varients as it does not allow us to infer the important question of Celtic (language) expansion from the West.

"The rapid expansion of a single langauge and nodes associated with branches not represented in our sample will not be refected in this figure. For example, the lack of Continental Celtic variants in our sample means we miss the Celtic incursion into Iberia and instead infer a later arrival into the Iberian peninsular associated with the break-up of the Romance languages (and not the initial rapid expansion of Latin). The chronology represented here therefore covers a minimum age for expansion into a given area."
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Maliclavelli
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« Reply #21 on: August 24, 2012, 04:36:51 AM »

As I have written of other researches: a massive waste of time, and in this case also of ℠∑PDT (((xkn⁄‰ etc. etc. They have already used MCMC, BEAST, BSP etc. for STRs and haven’t got nowhere.
History (and glottology) are sciences of the particular and maths isn’t able to capture them. That Hittite was the first branch to get detached itself from IE we did already know, but it isn’t demonstrated that it was spoken in Anatolia before 2000 BC, on the contrary it is very unlikely. All these languages have changed their places in these millennia and only by reconstructing their itineraries we could understand something of their past. And above all these languages don’t say anything about the men who spoke them and of their haplogroups.
Kiwis get good kiwis and perhaps heard a peripheral conference of Sir Renfrew, but that they study Maori dialects and let IE and hg. R to us, about which some certitudes we have.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2012, 04:40:15 AM by Maliclavelli » Logged

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vineviz
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« Reply #22 on: August 24, 2012, 08:07:22 AM »

Linguists are not in battle. Colin Renfrew is an archaeologist. Mallory has PhDs in both linguistics and archaeology.

That may be true, but it doesn't help us sort out who is right.  Taking people's credentials into account is not always foolish, but we all know better than to bet blindly on the PhD. 

For instance , we have no shortage of people with PhDs in genetics who have been 180 degrees off on some very important questions.
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Mike Walsh
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« Reply #23 on: August 24, 2012, 10:22:04 AM »

Or is Jean wrong on that?

Please don't drag me into it Mike, as though I have personally made a contribution to this linguistic debate. As I keep pointing out, I have not. Linguists sorted out the PIE homeland debate before I knew anything about it. It is absolutely nothing to do with me....
Sorry. I realize you did not create the arguments and assemble the research details but I respect your interpretation of them.  I've not heard specific arguments, that sounded reasonable, against an early Uralic influence on PIE and against PIE being hunter-gatherer at its base. That puts a serious crimp in an agricultural Anatolian origin for PIE. I guess it could have been hunter-gatherers in mountainous areas of Anatolia that were out of the way of of agriculture, but that still leaves a reconciliation with a Uralic influence. The Urals are a long way away. I just don't get out how Anatolia could meet that criteria.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2012, 10:23:41 AM by Mikewww » Logged

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Jean M
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« Reply #24 on: August 24, 2012, 10:34:45 AM »

Linguists are not in battle. Colin Renfrew is an archaeologist. Mallory has PhDs in both linguistics and archaeology.

That may be true, but it doesn't help us sort out who is right.  Taking people's credentials into account is not always foolish, but we all know better than to bet blindly on the PhD.  

Absolutely true. Couldn't agree more in fact. Frankly I know people with PhDs that I wouldn't trust to get anything right. Placing my faith blindly is the last thing I'm going to do. In academia people are judged on publications. Paper qualifications cease to have much relevance after someone gets to be a professor.

I was just trying to clarify where exactly the fighting line is. It is not really within linguistics. Certainly there are a few linguists not in tune with the majority, but that is a kind of sideshow. The big battle has gone on between Renfrew and Mallory, who are both archaeologists, but Mallory happens to be a linguist as well. That is not a coincidence in my view. You really have to take in the linguistic evidence to see the argument for the Steppe homeland. I didn't myself until I read Mallory.  
« Last Edit: August 24, 2012, 10:37:03 AM by Jean M » Logged
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