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Seeing language from the DNA
(04-13-2024, 11:13 AM)Jaska Wrote: Alanarchae:
Quote:It depends what geographical area you are talking about. It would indeed be difficult in a busy highway kind of area of historical movements but there are other areas where DNA only shows one or two significant post-Neolithic population changes prior to the first linguistic/historical attestation of language . So the choice of when’s the later attested historical language arrived or evolved is very small.

Define “significant population change”? And why do you think that language shift requires such a significant population change? In any case, it only works to one direction: when there is a significant population change, the probability of a new language is high; but even if there is no significant population change, there is a possibility for a new language.

Also, can you give a concrete example of your method for tracing language through the DNA or material culture?

Alanarchae:
Quote:By the way I suspect isotopes may prove as important as DNA because there is clear evidence from the bronze age into historic times of the practice of the elites fostering each others children over long distances. Basically swapping their kids in infancy and then returning to their home tribe as young adults. That is a great way to ensure dialects among the elites stay converged/divergence is seriously slowed artificially. I actually think this is likely a key factor in at least some of the distributing of Celtic as a dialect spoken by elites. ie lots of temporary migration among the elites of bronze  age Europe where future kings and chiefs etc were fully immersed since infancy in the language, culture and beliefs of other tribes before returning home in adulthood more like a member of his foster tribe than his biological one. That imo, other than permanent migration, is likely the most important mechanism in language in later prehistory

Even in such cases we cannot see from the DNA or the cultural remains which of these languages truly prevailed: the assumed elite language or the assumed commoner language.

@Jaska it's all "case" and "context" bound.
For example the spread of Germanic in EMA, is a case in which we already have runes. In that case we have NW Germanic spoken in at least Southern Scandinavia that spread towards the North Sea. And at the same time there was a spread of Danish Isles IA ancestry 400 AD>. In that case we have a better fundament.
In the case of early Germanic let's say about 2000 BC we haven't a single, really no single evidence what the people in Southern Scandinavia spoke. Yes there was probably a mix between eastern and western Scandic ancestry (mc Coll 2024). And we can make some assumption about the earliest Germanic about that time. All interesting and relevant. But that's it, no certainties. I have no problem with that. But the suggestion that we have certainties about times and places and which language the people spoke without evidence ('records') is simply false. Again that makes it nevertheless interesting and relevant, but it must be done without certainty claims. I can life with that.....
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(04-13-2024, 01:11 PM)Jaska Wrote: I am sorry, but you still do not know what you are talking about. That we are not certain when the Germanic lineage arrived in Scandinavia does not mean that we could not be more certain about many other early languages. Germanic is an exception, not a rule, and even still we know that it was spoken in Southern Scandinavia since ca. 1000 BCE at the latest - more than a millennium before the first written Germanic texts. This knowledge comes from language contacts Germanic had with Celtic, Saami, and Finnic.

You should read the links concerning the location of Proto-Indo-Iranian within the Sintashta Culture, given in this thread:
https://genarchivist.com/showthread.php?tid=256

There you will get knowledge about the methods we use in historical linguistics. Do yourself that favor and use one hour for reading the linked articles! After that hour, you will know so much more about the methods of historical linguistics, and you do not need to repeat your ignorant opinions any longer.

That's imo not a to the point answer. Because it is not a reaction with content about what I (and also alanarchae) have stated.

I can read as much as historical linguistic methodology books as I like but they can't provide into the lack of evidence (in the sense of records) in the case of proto c.q. pre historic languages. That's is simply a matter of fact. No matter of dispute.

In that respect, it is more of a form of bashing to react in this way.
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Exclamation 
It is almost unbelievable how blind people can be concerning their own double standards. The same people, who criticize the "Southern Arc" view, use exactly the same unscientific method themselves. The "Southern Arc" believers assume that a random shared genetic trait proves that Indo-European language spread directly from Anatolia to India, and these "Yakutia ancestry = Proto-Uralic" cult members believe that a random shared genetic trait proves that Proto-Uralic and Proto-Samoyedic were spoken in Northeastern Siberia, from where they spread to the west.

Both views are equally ridiculous, because they totally ignore everything we know about the locations of ancient languages. You probably know better the views concerning Indo-European homeland, so here I stick with Proto-Samoyedic and Proto-Uralic.

We know that the Uralic expansion began in the Central Ural Region and that only around the mid-2nd millennium BCE the Pre-Proto-Samoyedic could have spread to the Sayan Region, establishing contacts with Iranian (again) and Turkic neighbours. Late Proto-Samoyedic diverged only ~2000+ years ago and began expanding toward the north.

The Nganasans were the northern vanguard population, assimilating earlier inhabitants of Northern Siberia. Therefore they resemble more the non-Uralic Tundra Yukaghirs than other Samoyedic populations, and more the Dolgans and the Yakuts than farther Uralic populations. All the other Samoyedic populations have plenty of European ancestries, and even the Nganasans have some steppe ancestry. Even the Proto-Samoyedic speakers could not have consisted 100 % of the Yakutia ancestry, and much less the Proto-Uralic speakers.

Do not be a cult member - do not ignore the linguistic results! 
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(04-14-2024, 10:51 AM)Jaska Wrote: It is almost unbelievable how blind people can be concerning their own double standards. The same people, who criticize the "Southern Arc" view, use exactly the same unscientific method themselves. The "Southern Arc" believers assume that a random shared genetic trait proves that Indo-European language spread directly from Anatolia to India, and these "Yakutia ancestry = Proto-Uralic" cult members believe that a random shared genetic trait proves that Proto-Uralic and Proto-Samoyedic were spoken in Northeastern Siberia, from where they spread to the west.

Both views are equally ridiculous, because they totally ignore everything we know about the locations of ancient languages. You probably know better the views concerning Indo-European homeland, so here I stick with Proto-Samoyedic and Proto-Uralic.

We know that the Uralic expansion began in the Central Ural Region and that only around the mid-2nd millennium BCE the Pre-Proto-Samoyedic could have spread to the Sayan Region, establishing contacts with Iranian (again) and Turkic neighbours. Late Proto-Samoyedic diverged only ~2000+ years ago and began expanding toward the north.

The Nganasans were the northern vanguard population, assimilating earlier inhabitants of Northern Siberia. Therefore they resemble more the non-Uralic Tundra Yukaghirs than other Samoyedic populations, and more the Dolgans and the Yakuts than farther Uralic populations. All the other Samoyedic populations have plenty of European ancestries, and even the Nganasans have some steppe ancestry. Even the Proto-Samoyedic speakers could not have consisted 100 % of the Yakutia ancestry, and much less the Proto-Uralic speakers.

Do not be a cult member - do not ignore the linguistic results! 

I don’t think anyone wants to ignore the linguistic results. We just want to use ancient DNA and archaeology as a extra strings to the bow. Obviously an inferences used using ancient DNA and archaeology are not going to be convincing if they contradict linguistics.Bit linguists delving further back in time beyond actual written records also are using inference and assumptions and are not all in agreement. 

One of the most questionable assumptions is that you can infer a clock by divergence over time. This s doesn’t take into account in bronze age western and central Europe the clear archaeological evidence of constant elite contacts, elites temporarily fostering each others children across hundreds of miles seen in ancient DNA and evidence of A to B back to A travelling seen in isotopic analysis (sons of which is likely fosterage. Not to mention intermarriage and the mobile class of craftsmen and likely religious elites. The picture is not of ‘settle then isolation’ that divergence models seem to assume
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(04-14-2024, 01:44 PM)alanarchae Wrote: I don’t think anyone wants to ignore the linguistic results. 

But there are clearly a considerable no. of people, and scientific papers, that do ignore linguistic arguments, completely.

Your issue (and mine) that the proposed dates for proto Celtic seem too late (far too late from some historical linguists) isn't quite the same thing as discarding an entire discipline : )
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Alanarchae:
Quote:I don’t think anyone wants to ignore the linguistic results. We just want to use ancient DNA and archaeology as a extra strings to the bow. Obviously an inferences used using ancient DNA and archaeology are not going to be convincing if they contradict linguistics.Bit linguists delving further back in time beyond actual written records also are using inference and assumptions and are not all in agreement.

Not many, fortunately, but there are some loud commentators who think that linguistic results can be ignored and the language can be better traced from the genetic data. Just read the Eurogenes comment sections. 

Linguistic results are in agreement, when we understand to distinguish Late Proto-Uralic from distant Pre-Proto-Uralic. Unfortunately even all scholars are not always capable of seeing that different arguments are related to different temporal stages. Or can you name an example of valid linguistic results contradicting each other?

Alanarchae:
Quote:One of the most questionable assumptions is that you can infer a clock by divergence over time. This s doesn’t take into account in bronze age western and central Europe the clear archaeological evidence of constant elite contacts, elites temporarily fostering each others children across hundreds of miles seen in ancient DNA and evidence of A to B back to A travelling seen in isotopic analysis (sons of which is likely fosterage. Not to mention intermarriage and the mobile class of craftsmen and likely religious elites. The picture is not of ‘settle then isolation’ that divergence models seem to assume

Why do you think that your elite network or intermarriage blur the linguistic chronology? Could you please explain your point as thoroughly and concretely as you can? Naturally divergence models agree also with later contacts.
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Y-DNA: N-Z1936 >> CTS8565 >> BY22114 (Savonian)
mtDNA: H5a1e (Northern Fennoscandian)
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(04-14-2024, 05:55 PM)Jaska Wrote: Not many, fortunately, but there are some loud commentators who think that linguistic results can be ignored and the language can be better traced from the genetic data. Just read the Eurogenes comment sections. 

The Eurogenes comment section seems largely populated by people that were thrown out of AG/GA. Garbage stinks, why smell it?
Here what I think is more common is that those who to are ignorant in linguistics (myself included, it's a pretty hard field to get into), will rely on the best line of evidence accessible to THEM, that being genetics and/or archaeology. Most would likely adapt their hypothesis if presented with constraints sourced from linguistic evidence if they are coming from someone they trust to be knowledgeable in linguistics.
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(04-14-2024, 06:19 PM)Kale Wrote:
(04-14-2024, 05:55 PM)Jaska Wrote: Not many, fortunately, but there are some loud commentators who think that linguistic results can be ignored and the language can be better traced from the genetic data. Just read the Eurogenes comment sections. 

The Eurogenes comment section seems largely populated by people that were thrown out of AG/GA. Garbage stinks, why smell it?
Here what I think is more common is that those who to are ignorant in linguistics (myself included, it's a pretty hard field to get into),  will rely on the best line of evidence accessible to THEM, that being genetics and/or archaeology. Most would likely adapt their hypothesis if presented with constraints sourced from linguistic evidence if they are coming from someone they trust to be knowledgeable in linguistics.

Lot of ego and testosterone on that site too which doesn't help : )
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Let's stick to the subject matter vs commentary about other forums
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(04-14-2024, 05:55 PM)Jaska Wrote: Alanarchae:
Quote:I don’t think anyone wants to ignore the linguistic results. We just want to use ancient DNA and archaeology as a extra strings to the bow. Obviously an inferences used using ancient DNA and archaeology are not going to be convincing if they contradict linguistics.Bit linguists delving further back in time beyond actual written records also are using inference and assumptions and are not all in agreement.

Not many, fortunately, but there are some loud commentators who think that linguistic results can be ignored and the language can be better traced from the genetic data. Just read the Eurogenes comment sections. 

Linguistic results are in agreement, when we understand to distinguish Late Proto-Uralic from distant Pre-Proto-Uralic. Unfortunately even all scholars are not always capable of seeing that different arguments are related to different temporal stages. Or can you name an example of valid linguistic results contradicting each other?

Alanarchae:
Quote:One of the most questionable assumptions is that you can infer a clock by divergence over time. This s doesn’t take into account in bronze age western and central Europe the clear archaeological evidence of constant elite contacts, elites temporarily fostering each others children across hundreds of miles seen in ancient DNA and evidence of A to B back to A travelling seen in isotopic analysis (sons of which is likely fosterage. Not to mention intermarriage and the mobile class of craftsmen and likely religious elites. The picture is not of ‘settle then isolation’ that divergence models seem to assume

Why do you think that your elite network or intermarriage blur the linguistic chronology? Could you please explain your point as thoroughly and concretely as you can? Naturally divergence models agree also with later contacts.

It’s just something to ponder not a hill I want to die on but the historical and isotopic data shows a common practice among the elites from the early bronze age onwards to send their children long distances at early infancy to another tribe and only returning home perhaps on reaching early adulthood. It strikes me that linguistically these fosters nobles and ‘princes’ would return  home (perhaps soon to be a chief or king) much more like their foster tribe than their home tribe in dialect, culture etc. That to me suggests a lingua franca existed over wide areas because you couldn’t have a load of ’princes’ returning home on adulthood unable to communicate with their own people. In fact  I’ve pondered whether one of the points of fosterage (there are a few others) was homogenising of the elite’s dialect over vast areas. Though less the case after c.450BC, much of the status of bronze age and early iron age elites seemed to be linked to controlling long distance exchange.
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Alanarchae:
Quote:That to me suggests a lingua franca existed over wide areas because you couldn’t have a load of ’princes’ returning home on adulthood unable to communicate with their own people. In fact  I’ve pondered whether one of the points of fosterage (there are a few others) was homogenising of the elite’s dialect over vast areas. Though less the case after c.450BC, much of the status of bronze age and early iron age elites seemed to be linked to controlling long distance exchange.

Thank you for clarification. It is unlikely that nursing-age babies were given away - more probably the children were already speaking their native language when they moved. Therefore lingua franca is not the only possibility. Usually the contacts fit within the following types:

1. Between closely related dialects/languages it is common that each person speaks his/her own language, and they learn the differences between the meanings of the shared words. This was the situation during the Hanseatic League between the speakers of Old Swedish and Middle Low German.

2. In other cases, there have always been people fluent in foreign languages. When two language communities live nearby, there are usually also mixed marriages, leading to bilingual children. And in addition to the bilingual individuals, there were people more or less fluent with the neighbor language.

3. The same language shared by elites of different people/state is only one of the possible options, and even then it is not automatic that the elite language would prevail. Norman French speakers conquered England, yet their language could not replace English, and neither could Old Norse in regions reigned by the vikings before that. In Hungary, arriving languages followed each other (Huns, Avars, Slavs, Franks), but all the earlier languages were replaced by Hungarian since the late 9th century, but none of the languages of the following migrating or conquering people was able to replace it (Cumans, Pechenegs, Mongols, [Austrian] Germans). It is an unpredictable, mostly chance-based process, which newcomer language manages to replace older languages and which does not manage. This cannot be determined from the archaeological or genetic data. 

Then, how can we tell, when a dialectal leveling or language shift has occurred? We cannot see that from the archaeological or genetic data, but only linguistic evidence can tell it. Usually phonological level retains the ancient divergence processes, even when the lexical level, the morphology, and the syntax have been leveled. We can still see these ancient divergence processes in German (Low German vs. High German), Estonian (North Estonian vs. South Estonian), Finnish (West Finnish vs. East Finnish), etc.
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(04-14-2024, 08:39 PM)Jaska Wrote: Alanarchae:
Quote:That to me suggests a lingua franca existed over wide areas because you couldn’t have a load of ’princes’ returning home on adulthood unable to communicate with their own people. In fact  I’ve pondered whether one of the points of fosterage (there are a few others) was homogenising of the elite’s dialect over vast areas. Though less the case after c.450BC, much of the status of bronze age and early iron age elites seemed to be linked to controlling long distance exchange.

Thank you for clarification. It is unlikely that nursing-age babies were given away - more probably the children were already speaking their native language when they moved. Therefore lingua franca is not the only possibility. Usually the contacts fit within the following types:

1. Between closely related dialects/languages it is common that each person speaks his/her own language, and they learn the differences between the meanings of the shared words. This was the situation during the Hanseatic League between the speakers of Old Swedish and Middle Low German.

2. In other cases, there have always been people fluent in foreign languages. When two language communities live nearby, there are usually also mixed marriages, leading to bilingual children. And in addition to the bilingual individuals, there were people more or less fluent with the neighbor language.

3. The same language shared by elites of different people/state is only one of the possible options, and even then it is not automatic that the elite language would prevail. Norman French speakers conquered England, yet their language could not replace English, and neither could Old Norse in regions reigned by the vikings before that. In Hungary, arriving languages followed each other (Huns, Avars, Slavs, Franks), but all the earlier languages were replaced by Hungarian since the late 9th century, but none of the languages of the following migrating or conquering people was able to replace it (Cumans, Pechenegs, Mongols, [Austrian] Germans). It is an unpredictable, mostly chance-based process, which newcomer language manages to replace older languages and which does not manage. This cannot be determined from the archaeological or genetic data. 

Then, how can we tell, when a dialectal leveling or language shift has occurred? We cannot see that from the archaeological or genetic data, but only linguistic evidence can tell it. Usually phonological level retains the ancient divergence processes, even when the lexical level, the morphology, and the syntax have been leveled. We can still see these ancient divergence processes in German (Low German vs. High German), Estonian (North Estonian vs. South Estonian), Finnish (West Finnish vs. East Finnish), etc.

In general I agree with your expose.  Although I think that in the third case English after the Norman French influence was much more differentiated from my Friso-Saxon language (a Hanseatic league language with an old Frisian substrate beneath it) language before it than after it....but minor detail.

Then, how can we tell, when a dialectal leveling or language shift has occurred? "We cannot see that from the archaeological or genetic data, but only linguistic evidence can tell it."

Yes and again until there are no records! And in that case genetic data or archeological can provide a clue (no more than that). For example if we think in country a certain language was spoken, and there was an influx of the people into another region in which we unfortunately have no recordings/ sources of when the influx took place, but we do see a change in genetics and pottery for example, we can make assumptions (not more than that) about possible language influences. Even more when later on the language shows similarities to the language of the people of the influx.

For example in the Anglo-Saxon case. From the influx into England we have no texts. When the earliest substantial example of English is the lawcode of King Æthelberht of Kent (reigned c. 589–616), then we have no records of the actual migration period. Nevertheless based on genetics and archeology we can detest it were people from the "bottleneck" and Danish Isles c.q. extended Southern Scandinavia that went to England (and Friesland). As can be attested through the text of the lawcode (NW Germanic influenced language).

Genetics and archeology can be perfect "auxiliary sciences" Jaska!
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(04-15-2024, 05:40 PM)Rodoorn Wrote: Then, how can we tell, when a dialectal leveling or language shift has occurred? "We cannot see that from the archaeological or genetic data, but only linguistic evidence can tell it."

Yes and again until there are no records! ...

Aren't languages themselves suitable as records of their development? Isn't that partly (maybe even largely) what linguistics is all about? 

Is that the crux of this long-running disagreement?
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(04-15-2024, 07:06 PM)Cejo Wrote:
(04-15-2024, 05:40 PM)Rodoorn Wrote: Then, how can we tell, when a dialectal leveling or language shift has occurred? "We cannot see that from the archaeological or genetic data, but only linguistic evidence can tell it."

Yes and again until there are no records! ...

Aren't languages themselves suitable as records of their development? Isn't that partly (maybe even largely) what linguistics is all about? 

Is that the crux of this long-running disagreement?

No because a language spoken in a given moment in a given area doesn't necessary has a connection with the language before that moment. There can be a discontinuity.

Clear example is the language spoken in Friesland from migration ages doesn't represent that of the Frisii in Roman times (and doesn't represent- on the whole- the development out of it).

The dispute is can we be sure which language is spoken without records (=sources) in a given time and place. I state- like every scientist in this matter does- this can't be the case. In other words: you have to have records (sources) from that language from that time and place to be sure.
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(04-15-2024, 07:06 PM)Cejo Wrote: Aren't languages themselves suitable as records of their development? Isn't that partly (maybe even largely) what linguistics is all about? 

Is that the crux of this long-running disagreement?

Exactly. Some people just choose not to receive any new information.
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