Some very specific prosodic innovations affected the Balto-Slavic linguistic community, probably at a time when it already showed internal dialectal differences. Whether those innovations were related to archaic remnants stemming from the parent Proto-Indo-European language, and whether that disintegrating community included different dialects, remains an object of active debate.
The main question about Balto-Slavic is whether this concept represents a single community, or it was rather a continuum formed by two (Baltic and Slavic) or possibly three (East Baltic, West Baltic, Slavic) neighbouring communities, speaking closely related Northern European dialects, which just happened to evolve very close … Read the rest “Balto-Slavic accentual mobility: an innovation in contact with Balto-Finnic”
A recently published abstract for an upcoming chapter about Early Slavs shows the generalized view among modern researchers that Common Slavs did not spread explosively from the east, an idea proper of 19th-century Romantic views about ancestral tribes of pure peoples showing continuity since time immemorial.
Migrations and language shifts as components of the Slavic spread, by Lindstedt and Salmela, In: Language contact and the early Slavs, Eds. Tomáš Klír, Vít Boček, Universitätsverlag Winter (2019):
The rapid spread of the Proto-Slavic language in the second half of the first millennium CE was long explained by the … Read the rest ““Dinaric I2a” and the expansion of Common Slavs from East-Central Europe”
First look of an accepted manuscript (behind paywall), Genome-wide sequence analyses of ethnic populations across Russia, by Zhernakova et al. Genomics (2019).
There remain ongoing discussions about the origins of the ethnic Russian population. The ancestors of ethnic Russians were among the Slavic tribes that separated from the early Indo-European Group, which included ancestors of modern Slavic, Germanic and Baltic speakers, who appeared in the northeastern part of Europe ca. 1,500 years ago. Slavs were found in the central part of Eastern Europe, where they came in direct contact with (and likely assimilation of) the populations speaking
… Read the rest “The cradle of Russians, an obvious Finno-Volgaic genetic hotspot”
Florin Curta has published online his draft for Eastern Europe in the Middle Ages (500-1300), Brill’s Companions to European History, Vol. 10 (2019), apparently due to appear in June.
Some interesting excerpts, relevant for the latest papers (emphasis mine):
The Archaeology of the Early Slavs
(…) One of the most egregious problems with the current model of the Slavic migration is that it is not at all clear where it started. There is in fact no agreement as to the exact location of the primitive homeland of the Slavs, if there ever was one. The idea of tracing
… Read the rest “Common Slavs from the Lower Danube, expanding with haplogroup E1b-V13?”
The final paper on Indo-Iranian peoples, by Narasimhan and Patterson (see preprint), is soon to be published, according to the first author’s Twitter account.
One of the interesting details of the development of Bronze Age Iberian ethnolinguistic landscape was the making of Proto-Iberian and Proto-Basque communities, which we already knew were going to show R1b-P312 lineages, a haplogroup clearly associated during the Bell Beaker period with expanding North-West Indo-Europeans:
From the Bronze Age (~2200–900 BCE), we increase the available dataset from 7 to 60 individuals and show how ancestry from the Pontic-Caspian steppe (Steppe ancestry) appeared throughout Iberia
… Read the rest “Aquitanians and Iberians of haplogroup R1b are exactly like Indo-Iranians and Balto-Slavs of haplogroup R1a”
Open access Genetic Landscape of Slovenians: Past Admixture and Natural Selection Pattern, by Maisano Delser et al. Front. Genet. (2018).
Interesting excerpts (emphasis mine):
Overall, 96 samples ranging from Slovenian littoral to Lower Styria were genotyped for 713,599 markers using the OmniExpress 24-V1 BeadChips (Figure 1), genetic data were obtained from Esko et al. (2013). After removing related individuals, 92 samples were left. The Slovenian dataset has been subsequently merged with the Human Origin dataset (Lazaridis et al., 2016) for a total of 2163 individuals.
First, Y chromosome genetic diversity was assessed. A total of
… Read the rest “Genetic landscape and past admixture of modern Slovenians”
Whole mitochondrial genome diversity in two Hungarian populations, Malyarchuk et al. Mol Genet Genomics (2018).
Complete mitochondrial genomics is an effective tool for studying the demographic history of human populations, but there is still a deficit of mitogenomic data in European populations. In this paper, we present results of study of variability of 80 complete mitochondrial genomes in two Hungarian populations from eastern part of Hungary (Szeged and Debrecen areas). The genetic diversity of Hungarian mitogenomes is remarkably high, reaching 99.9% in a combined sample. According to the analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA), European populations showed a low,
… Read the rest “Hungarian mitogenomes similar to East and West Slavs, but genetic substratum predates their historic contacts”
This is part of a series of posts analyzing the findings of the recent Nature papers Olalde et al.(2018) and Mathieson et al.(2018) (abbreviated O&M 2018).
The recent publication of Narasimhan et al. (2018) has outdated the draft of this post a bit, and it has made it at the same time still more interesting.
While we wait for the publication of the dataset (and the actual Y-DNA haplogroups and precise subclades with the revision of the paper), and as we watch the wrath of Hindu nationalists vented against the West (as if the steppe was in Western Europe) … Read the rest “Consequences of O&M 2018 (III): The Balto-Slavic conundrum in Linguistics, Archaeology, and Genetics”