Proto-Yeniseian Homeland


This post is part of a draft on South Siberian language homelands and Sprachbünde.

The following text contains a description of Yeniseian languages, their dialectal groupings and likely evolution among surrounding ethnolinguistic groups before they were first documented. Special emphasis is placed on ancient Yeniseic formants for water bodies, widely distributed through Western, Southern, and Central Siberia. Finally, the archaeological-archaeogenetic discussion is focused on Early Bronze Age Glazkovo-related and Okunevo-like cultures, due to their patrilineal connection to sampled Yeniseian and ancient Na-Dene populations.

  1. Yeniseian languages
  2. Archaeology and population genomics
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Dene-Yeniseian, Eskimo-Aleut, and Chukotko-Kamchatkan


This post is part of a draft on South Siberian language homelands and Sprachbünde.

At least three major genetic changes have been described to date involving the Lena and Kolyma regions in East Siberia, and all are probably associated with some of the archaeological and linguistic developments that led to the known Early Modern distribution of languages in the Russian Far East and in Northern America.

The following is a tentative description of such intertwined linguistic-archaeological-genetic developments, based on the few available data from each field. For this guesswork, first genetic-archeological results, and then plausible … Read the rest “Dene-Yeniseian, Eskimo-Aleut, and Chukotko-Kamchatkan”

South Siberian Urheimaten and Sprachbünde


The long-lasting intertwined ethnolinguistic developments of East Uralic speakers with Palaeo-Siberian populations makes it impossible to split up a post about the evolution of the former without discussing the fate of the latter.

External contacts with other indigenous East Asian languages close to the Altai-Sayan region and Circum-Baikal area are also relevant, but would no doubt turn this post series into an unending task. Therefore, I will focus on the western part of the Baikal Neolithic and Neo-Siberian-related ancestry clines, which seem more relevant for the ancient stages of Ob-Ugric and Samoyed developments.

For an easier read of … Read the rest “South Siberian Urheimaten and Sprachbünde”

Proto-Uralic Homeland (VIII): Earliest External Contacts


This post is part of a draft on palaeolinguistics and the Proto-Uralic homeland. See below for the color code of protoforms.

14. Earliest PU ~ PIE contacts

14.1. Indo-Uralic?

The most reliable correspondences to propose an Indo-Uralic phylum come from basic morphological comparisons. Some of the most frequently mentioned ones include (e.g. Čop 1975, Kortlandt 2002, Bjørn 2019, or Lubotsky 2019):

  • Nominal endings:
  • PU *-Ø ~ PIA *-Ø (in neuter athematic nouns).
  • PU *-m ~ PIA *-m.
  • PU dual *-ki(-) ~ PIA nom.-acc.du. *-h₁.
  • PU abl. *-tA ~ PIA
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Samoyedic shows Yeniseic substrate; both influenced Tocharian


Open access paper The deviant typological profile of the Tocharian branch of Indo-European may be due to Uralic substrate influence by Peyrot, Indo-European Linguistics (2019).

NOTE. This seems to be part of the master’s thesis by Abel Warries, but the paper is authored only by Peyrot.

Interesting excerpts (emphasis mine):

1. The stop system

The loss in Tocharian of the Proto-Indo-European obstruent distinctions conventionally noted as voice and aspiration is a very strong indication of foreign influence. Since Proto-Indo-European roots mostly have at least one stop, and often two, the merger of all three stop series into one must have

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The complex origin of Samoyedic-speaking populations


Open access Siberian genetic diversity reveals complex origins of the Samoyedic-speaking populations, by Karafet et al. Am J Hum Biol (2018) e23194.

Interesting excerpts (emphasis mine):

Siberian groups

Consistent with their origin, Mongolic-speaking Buryats demonstrate genetic similarity with Mongols, and Turkic-speaking Altai-Kizhi and Teleuts are drawn close to CAS groups. The Tungusic-speaking Evenks collected in central and eastern Siberia cluster together and overlap with Yukagirs. Dolgans are widely scattered in the plot, justifying their recent origin from one Evenk clan, Yakuts, and Russian peasants in the 18th century (Popov, 1964). Uralic-speaking populations comprise a very wide cluster with Komi

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Sahara’s rather pale-green and discontinuous Sahelo-Sudanian steppe corridor, and the R1b – Afroasiatic connection


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

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Ancient human parallel lineages within North America contributed to a coastal expansion


New paper (behind paywall), Ancient human parallel lineages within North America contributed to a coastal expansion, by Scheib et al. Science (2018) 360(6392):1024-1027.


Little is known regarding the first people to enter the Americas and their genetic legacy. Genomic analysis of the oldest human remains from the Americas showed a direct relationship between a Clovis-related ancestral population and all modern Central and South Americans as well as a deep split separating them from North Americans in Canada. We present 91 ancient human genomes from California and Southwestern Ontario and demonstrate the existence of two distinct ancestries in North

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Oldest N1c1a1a-L392 samples and Siberian ancestry in Bronze Age Fennoscandia

Open access preprint at bioRxiv, Ancient Fennoscandian genomes reveal origin and spread of Siberian ancestry in Europe, by Lamnidis et al. (2018).

Abstract (emphasis mine):

European history has been shaped by migrations of people, and their subsequent admixture. Recently, evidence from ancient DNA has brought new insights into migration events that could be linked to the advent of agriculture, and possibly to the spread of Indo-European languages. However, little is known so far about the ancient population history of north-eastern Europe, in particular about populations speaking Uralic languages, such as Finns and Saami. Here we analyse ancient genomic data

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