A new interesting paper from Nature: Detecting evolutionary forces in language change, by Newberry, Ahern, Clark, and Plotkin (2017). Discovered via Science Daily.
The following are excerpts of materials related to the publication (written by Katherine Unger Baillie), from The University of Pennsylvania:
Examining substantial collections of annotated texts dating from the 12th to the 21st centuries, the researchers found that certain linguistic changes were guided by pressures analogous to natural selection — social, cognitive and other factors — while others seem to have occurred purely by happenstance.
“Linguists usually assume that when a change occurs in
… Read the rest “Evolutionary forces in language change depend on selective pressure, but also on random chance”
Human ancestry can only help solve anthropological questions by using all anthropological disciplines involved. I have said that many times in this blog.
Correlation does not mean causation
Really, it does not.
You might think the tenet ‘correlation does not mean causation‘ must be evident at this point in Statistics, and it must also be for all those using statistical methods in their research. But it is sadly not so. A lot of researchers just look for correlation, and derive conclusions – without even an initial sound hypothesis to be contrasted… You can judge for yourself, e.g. … Read the rest “Correlation does not mean causation: the damage of the ‘Yamnaya ancestral component’, and the ‘Future American’ hypothesis”
Michiel de Vaan, from the University of Lausanne, has recently uploaded three of his papers published in recent years in the JIES on the works of Dutch linguist C.C. Uhlenbeck:
1. The Early C. C. Uhlenbeck on Indo-European, JIES 44/1-2, 2016, p. 73-80
Christianus Cornelius Uhlenbeck (1866–1951) was one of the leading Dutch linguists between the 1880s and the 1940s. He made his mark on a number of disciplines in descriptive and comparative linguistics, such as Basque, the indigenous languages of North America, Old Germanic and Sanskrit. In 2008, a special issue of the Canadian Journal of Netherlandic
… Read the rest “C.C. Uhlenbeck on the Proto-Indo-European homeland in the 19th century”
A new article has appeared in Nature, Genetic origins of the Minoans and Mycenaeans, by Lazaridis et al. (2017), referenced by Science.
The origins of the Bronze Age Minoan and Mycenaean cultures have puzzled archaeologists for more than a century. We have assembled genome-wide data from 19 ancient individuals, including Minoans from Crete, Mycenaeans from mainland Greece, and their eastern neighbours from southwestern Anatolia. Here we show that Minoans and Mycenaeans were genetically similar, having at least three-quarters of their ancestry from the first Neolithic farmers of western Anatolia and the Aegean, and most of the remainder
… Read the rest “Genetic origins of Minoans and Mycenaeans and their continuity into modern Greeks”
Russian archaeologist Leo Klejn has published an article Discussion: Are the Origins of Indo-European Languages Explained by the Migration of the Yamnaya Culture to the West?, which includes the criticism received from Wolfgang Haak, Iosif Lazaridis, Nick Patterson, and David Reich (mainly on the genetic aspect), and from Kristian Kristiansen, Karl-Göran Sjögren, Morten Allentoft, Martin Sikora, and Eske Willerslev (mainly on the archaeological aspect).
I will not post details of Klejn’s model of North-South Proto-Indo-European expansion – which is explained in the article, and relies on the north-south cline of ‘steppe admixture’ in the modern European population -, since … Read the rest “Something is very wrong with models based on the so-called ‘steppe admixture’ – and archaeologists are catching up”
It has been three months since I published the first paper on the Indo-European demic diffusion model.
In the meantime, important pre-print papers with samples of Bell Beaker and South-Eastern European cultures compel me to add new data in support of the model. I have taken this opportunity to revise the whole text in a new paper, Indo-European demic diffusion model, 2nd edition, and also some of the maps of Indo-European migrations, which are now hosted in this blog.
I have made changes to some of the old blogs I had, like this one, … Read the rest “Indo-European demic diffusion model, 2nd edition, revised and updated”
I’ve recently read in some forums about Indo-European revival being a “new IAL” with ‘no chances against Esperanto‘.
The objective of Europaio is – and was – never to substitute Esperanto or to undermine the Esperanto, Ido, Interlingua, etc. communities. We are very respectful of the long tradition of IALs in building worldwide communities around international, ‘neutral’ languages, for our society to become more democratic, more jointly liable, or whatever those groups may seek.
However, things should always be clear to everyone when comparing Indo-European with such languages:
- Esperanto is an artifcial language invented by one man, as
… Read the rest “Esperanto vs. Europaio?”
I was thinking about the conversation I am going to have with the person responsible of a University Department of Classical Languages. And all of a sudden the most obvious question I could face arose: why? A simple question deserves a simple and clear answer, and I wanted it written down here, too; so I came to the main implicit
reasons hypothesis under which we work:
- The uprising and fall of civilizations is a random event, which depends on too many factors to be completely ascertained by any academic discipline.
- The more powerful a country is (and the richer its
… Read the rest “Indo-European? Why?”