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”
Open access African evolutionary history inferred from whole genome sequence data of 44 indigenous African populations, by Fan et al. Genome Biology (2019) 20:82.
Interesting excerpts (emphasis mine):
To extend our knowledge of patterns of genomic diversity in Africa, we generated high coverage (30×) genome sequencing data from 43 geographically diverse Africans originating from 22 ethnic groups, representing a broad array of ethnic, linguistic, cultural, and geographic diversity (Additional file 1: Table S1). These include a number of populations of anthropological interest that have never previously been characterized for high-coverage genome sequence diversity such as Afroasiatic-speaking El
… Read the rest “Fulani from Cameroon show ancestry similar to Afroasiatic speakers from East Africa”
Preprint Paleolithic DNA from the Caucasus reveals core of West Eurasian ancestry, by Lazaridis et al. bioRxiv (2018).
We analyzed teeth from two individuals 63 recovered from Dzudzuana Cave, Southern Caucasus, from an archaeological layer previously dated to ~27-24kya (…). Both individuals had mitochondrial DNA sequences (U6 and N) that are consistent with deriving from lineages that are rare in the Caucasus or Europe today. The two individuals were genetically similar to each other, consistent with belonging to the same population and we thus analyze them jointly.
(…) our results prove that the European affinity of
… Read the rest “Palaeolithic Caucasus samples reveal the most important component of West Eurasians”
Interesting new paper (behind paywall) Megalakes in the Sahara? A Review, by Quade et al. (2018).
Abstract (emphasis mine):
The Sahara was wetter and greener during multiple interglacial periods of the Quaternary, when some have suggested it featured very large (mega) lakes, ranging in surface area from 30,000 to 350,000 km2. In this paper, we review the physical and biological evidence for these large lakes, especially during the African Humid Period (AHP) 11–5 ka. Megalake systems from around the world provide a checklist of diagnostic features, such as multiple well-defined shoreline benches, wave-rounded beach gravels where coarse material is
… Read the rest “Sahara’s rather pale-green and discontinuous Sahelo-Sudanian steppe corridor, and the R1b – Afroasiatic connection”
Beginning with the new year, I wanted to commit myself to some predictions, as I did last year, even though they constantly change with new data.
I recently read Proto-Indo-European homelands – ancient genetic clues at last?, by Edward Pegler, which is a good summary of the current state of the art in the Indo-European question for many geneticists – and thus a great example of how well Genetics can influence Indo-European studies, and how badly it can be used to interpret actual cultural events – although more time is necessary for some to realize it. Notice for … Read the rest “The Indo-European demic diffusion model, and the “R1b – Indo-European” association”
New preprint at BioRxiv, MITOMIX, an Algorithm to Reconstruct Population Admixture Histories Indicates Ancient European Ancestry of Modern Hungarians, by Maroti et al. (2018).
Abstract (emphasis mine)
By making use of the increasing number of available mitogenomes we propose a novel population genetic distance metric, named Shared Haplogroup Distance (SHD). Unlike FST, SHD is a true mathematical distance that complies with all metric axioms, which enables our new algorithm (MITOMIX) to detect population-level admixture based on SHD minimum optimization. In order to demonstrate the effectiveness of our methodology we analyzed the relation of 62 modern and 25 ancient Eurasian
… Read the rest “Modern Hungarian mtDNA more similar to ancient Europeans than to Hungarian conquerors”
Sergej Nikolaev has published a new monograph on The Tale of Igor’s Campaign (you should download and open it in a PDF viewer to view some special characters correctly):
Слово о полку Игореве»: реконструкция стихотворного текста, by С.Л. Николаев (2018).
Abstract (in Russian).
Текст «Слова о полку Игореве» (далее «Слово») дошел до нас в двух неточных (отредактированных) копиях со списка нач. XVI в. и нескольких выписках из него. Наслоения, привнесенные переписчиком нач. XVI в. (или несколькими переписчиками) – редактура в русле 2 го южнославянского влияния и поздние диалектизмы – непоследовательны (§9.3.1) и не настолько исказили стихотворный текст рубежа XII–XIII
… Read the rest “New monograph on The Tale of Igor’s Campaign (in Russian)”
A popular science article on Indo-European migrations has appeared at Science News, entitled How Asian nomadic herders built new Bronze Age cultures, signed by Bruce Bower. While the article is well-balanced and introduces new readers to the current status quo of the controversy on Indo-European migrations – including the opposing theories led by Kristiansen/Anthony vs. Heyd – , it reverberates yet again the conclusions of the 2015 Nature articles on the subject, especially with its featured image.
I have argued many times why the recent ‘Yamnaya -Corded Ware -Bell Beaker’ migration model is wrong, mainly within my … Read the rest “The renewed ‘Kurgan model’ of Kristian Kristiansen and the Danish school: “The Indo-European Corded Ware Theory””