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Research reconciles two dominant hypotheses of Indo-European language origin
#1
What do you think??
https://phys.org/news/2023-10-dominant-i...nguage.amp

See also, https://theconversation.com/indo-europea...gin-216098

and, https://phys.org/news/2023-07-insights-i...uages.html
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#2
The article was from a few months ago;
Generally, it was not accepted well by many historical linguists, e.g. Kroonen calls the dataset great but the conclusion rubbish,
Some issues IMO:
- the false dilemma between Steppe and Anatolian theory
- the discrepancy between the found chronology with (1) linguistic archaeology, (2) connections between language spread and large scale migrational history
- the use of statistical instruments in historical linguistics is often not a good combination.
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#3
(10-31-2023, 05:28 PM)Pylsteen Wrote: The article was from a few months ago;
Generally, it was not accepted well by many historical linguists, e.g. Kroonen calls the dataset great but the conclusion rubbish,
Some issues IMO:
- the false dilemma between Steppe and Anatolian theory
- the discrepancy between the found chronology with (1) linguistic archaeology, (2) connections between language spread and large scale migrational history
- the use of statistical instruments in historical linguistics is often not a good combination.

When I read this line, " This data then underwent a Bayesian phylogenetic analysis, a statistical method for establishing the most probable relationships between languages and branches of the family tree," I thought this to be controversial.
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#4
Heggarty et al. 2023: Language trees with sampled ancestors support a hybrid model for the origin of Indo-European languages
https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.abg0818

Quote:“Few ancient written languages are returned as direct ancestors of modern clades. We find a median root age for Indo-European of ~8120 yr B.P. (95% highest posterior density: 6740 to 9610 yr B.P.). Our chronology is robust across a range of alternative phylogenetic models and sensitivity analyses that vary data subsets and other parameters. Indo-European had already diverged rapidly into multiple major branches by ~7000 yr B.P., without a coherent non-Anatolian core. Indo-Iranic has no close relationship with Balto-Slavic, weakening the case for it having spread via the steppe.”

Indo-Anatolian structure is nowadays the mainstream view: Late Proto-Indo-European was spoken ca. 5000+ years ago in the Pontic-Caspian Steppe, but Anatolian branched off from Early Proto-Indo-European considerably earlier in some region which is not so easily locatable.

The traditional archaeo-linguistic continuum from LPIE with words related to wagons and pastoral nomadism, followed by Late Proto-Indo-Iranian with words related to chariots and certain ritualistic structures and habits, etc., is still the most valid method for dating these reconstructed language stages. Absolute chronology is achieved by natural scientific methods like radiocarbon dating.

The dating is not made any more credible by using fine algorithms, because it all comes down to which results are more reliable and compelling. Dating based merely on the sum of shared words is not a reliable method – first and foremost because there are other processes affecting the number of words shared by branches. Therefore, it is not possible to ignore these processes as potential explanatory factors and claim that the number of shared words directly reflects the taxonomic structure of the language family.

Consequently, dating the deepest gap of the language family is erroneous, if the gap itself is erroneous. And even if the located gap really is the deepest within the language family, its depth can be exaggerated or understated by the number of shared words, if there are these other processes involved. Moreover, different languages change at different rate, and that rate can change also within one language lineage at different times.

It really is not possible that “Indo-European had already diverged rapidly into multiple major branches by ~7000 yr B.P.”, because then we could not explain all the words for referents which did not exist until several millennia later. Heggarty has a long history of desperately trying to explain away all the archaeo-linguistic evidence supporting the Steppe hypothesis, because he has for decades been advocating the Renfrewian farming hypothesis.
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#5
the Anatolian IE branch may have spent 1000s of years elsewhere before reaching Anatolia where they were likely a small elite in a state-like society/empire mostly composed of non IE substrate. Is it really any great mystery that their original DNA signal of say 4000-3500BC was gone 2000 years later? How much genetic trace relating to old Latium 2500 years ago exist in Latinate portugal today for example? Very very little I assume.
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#6
(11-05-2023, 09:49 PM)alanarchae Wrote: the Anatolian IE branch may have spent 1000s of years elsewhere before reaching Anatolia where they were likely a small elite in a state-like society/empire mostly composed of non IE substrate. Is it really any great mystery that their original DNA signal of say 4000-3500BC was gone 2000 years later? How much genetic trace relating to old Latium 2500 years ago exist in Latinate portugal today for example? Very very little I assume.

That is right. If we talk about Lazaridis et al. 2022 (Southern arc), they do show a Caucasus genetic component bridging Anatolia and steppe, but there is absolutely no law of nature requiring that the winning language must everywhere be connected to the major ancestry root. 

And just like they assume that the main ancestry of Indo-Hittite speakers was different from the main ancestry of Late Proto-Indo-European speakers, similar changes are probable also considering other shifts in time and place concerning daughter branches.
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#7
The question about Latinate Portugal, Ancient Galaico-Portuguese was the previous Celtic or Italo-Celtic substrate of the Gallaecian language or Lusitanian language, the Western Indo-European roots of the local Western Iberian tribal populations was transformed with the Roman Empire - Imperium Romanum with the Latin script and a more complex society, economy, State, high culture, literature and new concepts, something like the 70% of Latin, Norman French and Greek words in modern English related to more elaborated and sophisticated theoretical words, terms and concepts as we can observe in arts, science, culture, politics, etc. Only Romanized regions in Europe created big Empires, not the Vikings because they were not part of the Imperium Romanum.
The big genetic question was the formation of a completely new admixed population in the steppe made of two different Mesolithic/Neolithic/Eneolithic sources - CHG-IRAN + EHG, not populations with minor different proportions in the same components like in Western Europe, but all recent mainstream papers are revealing that the Anatolian languages and the Eastern Wing of the Southern Arc in the Caucasus, Eastern Anatolia, Northern Iran, Northern Mesopotamia were the first early Proto-Indo-European populations derived from the Ancient Iranians with the first complex agricultural civilizations in the South and they took to the North and brought the CHG-IRAN component to the steppe and Western Europe.
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#8
Related gnxp blog post that I posted on the ProBoards version of GenArchivist: gnxp- Computational Linguistic Phylogenetics and I-E

Quote:https://www.gnxp.com/WordPress/2023/08/0...europeans/

Interesting post. Not an expert on indo-European linguistics by any means, but I am familiar with South Asian archaeogenetics thanks to listening to some of the Tides of History podcasts and from following Razib Khan. So I have some idea of what Razib's talking about when he describes the genetic history of Indo-Aryan speakers and of South Asia.

Quote:[Image: science.abg0818-fa-scaled.jpg?ssl=1]
A new paper, Language trees with sampled ancestors support a hybrid model for the origin of Indo-European languages, has made a splash by inferring a far older date of diversification of these languages than has been assumed by other linguists, archaeologists and geneticists. As you can see above, the splits start a bit earlier than 5000 BC in this model, 1,500-2,000 years before the “classic” Pontic-steppe hypothesis. There are divergences in the typology from what some have assumed, for example, the deep split of Indo-Iranian from other groups. Nemets in Proto-Indo-European Urheimat Debate has given some skeptical thoughts, while Iosif Lazaridis of the “Southern Arc” fame has also offered his two cents.

I can’t speak to the linguistics... But I’ll comment a few issues that jumped out at me informed by ancient DNA.

First, the position of Tocharian is not surprising…it often comes out as diverging early from the other languages. Tocharian languages were found in the northern and northeast regions of the Tarim basin. Historically, the southern rim of the basin was dominated by Iranian languages. It seems the most likely candidate for the people that gave rise to the Tocharian languages is the Afanasievo culture. The Afanasievo we now know were basically an eastern branch of the Yamnaya that show up in the Altai 3300 BC. This is 5,300 years BP. In the paper, the Tocharian split from other Indo-Europeans 5,400 to 8,600 years BP over a 95% confidence interval. The only way this makes sense to me is if there was deep linguistic structure within the Yamnaya despite overall genetic homogeneity maintained through mate exchange. In the text the authors seem to imply that the Tocharians are an early eastward migration, perhaps from the south Caucasus region. This does not align very well with the ancient DNA. The Afanasievo early on are replica copies of Yamnaya. Were the Tocharians already there? Did the Afanasievo just adopt their language?

The second issue I have broadly is with the Indo-Iranians. The authors propose that the Indic and Iranian branches separated in 3,500 BC. While earlier work indicates that the Indo-Iranian languages descend from the Sintashta language and the cultures of the Andronovo horizon, these authors emphasize the role of populations from the south Caucasus traversing Iran south of the Caspian Sea.

Quote:One of the major points of this paper that contradicts some theories in historical linguistics is a rejection of the tentative connection between Balto-Slavic and Indo-Iranian. Genetically, the curious aspect of the two language families is that Y chromosomal haplogroup R1a is very frequent in both, but differentiated into two lineages that seem to have diverged 5,500-6,000 years ago. But there is more than just Y chromosomes here; over the past decade autosomal genome analyses show that many South Asians, in particular those in the northwest and upper caste populations are enriched for a minority ancestral component that resembles Eastern Europeans. We now know what happened due to ancient DNA: Genetic ancestry changes in Stone to Bronze Age transition in the East European plain. A branch of the Corded Ware Culture (CWC) migrated eastward, becoming the Fatyanovo Culture, then the Balanovo Culture, then the Abeshevo Culture, and finally the Sintashta Culture. The Sintashta seem to have given rise a group of societies known as Andronovo that are hypothesized to evolved into Iranians and Indo-Aryans.

The result here does away with all this. Rather than Indo-Aryan speech being brought by steppe pastoralists between 3,500 and 4,000 years ago, as genetics would imply, the Indo-Aryan speech was likely present during the Indus Valley Civilization. These results imply that Indo-Aryan arrived in India thousands of years before the intrusion of steppe pastoralists, and it was carried eastward by farmers from the Caucasus. The Vedas and Sanskrit then come down from the IVC. And yet strangely the Vedas do not depict a very complex society like the IVC, but a more simple agro-pastoralist one. And, the sacred language of the IVC people presumably, Sanskrit, was maintained in particular by a Brahmin priestly caste that is notable for having a very high fraction of steppe ancestry, that much arrived later.

A massive issue of this paper is that it makes a hash of a major phenomenon that we know between 3500 and 2500 BC, and that’s the spread of steppe-people in all directions, especially out of the Corded Ware complex. The CWC are notable for having a major admixture of Globular Amphora Culture (GAC) Neolithic ancestry, about 25-35% of their genetics, and then spreading into all directions. As noted by the authors and other observers, ancient DNA suggests that Anatolian, Armenian, and perhaps Greek and Illyrian (Albanian), are exceptions to this, deriving directly from Yamnaya or pre-Yamnaya (in the case of Hittites) Indo-European people (remember, CWC is a mix of Yamnaya and GAC). The genetics is very clear that a major wave of post-CWC people went into Asia, and south into the Indian subcontinent and Iran. The Y chromosomes imply this was male mediated, and post-CWC Y chromosomes are found in appreciable quantities as far south as Sri Lanka. But these data place this demographic migration far too late to have been the origin of Sanskrit, which is associated with Arya culture.

As Lazaridis points out on social media, the divergence of European language groups like Germanic, Celtic, Italic and Balto-Slavic also predates the CWC expansion westward. For example, Italic language split off in 3500 BC, 500 years earlier than the expansion of CWC into Eastern Europe, with a 95% lower-bound of 2200 BC, about when steppe ancestry shows up in the Italian peninsula according to ancient DNA. If the dates are true then it seems that the various Indo-European language groups were differentiated already very early on in the Yamnaya, and not later on through their expansion across Europe. In other words, this is a model of “ancient linguistic substructure.”
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#9
Clearly there is something wrong with the method itself, if the datings for all Indo-European branches are too early compared to concrete archaeo-linguistic chronological evidence. 


RCO:
Quote:"The big genetic question was the formation of a completely new admixed population in the steppe made of two different Mesolithic/Neolithic/Eneolithic sources - CHG-IRAN + EHG, not populations with minor different proportions in the same components like in Western Europe, but all recent mainstream papers are revealing that the Anatolian languages and the Eastern Wing of the Southern Arc in the Caucasus, Eastern Anatolia, Northern Iran, Northern Mesopotamia were the first early Proto-Indo-European populations derived from the Ancient Iranians with the first complex agricultural civilizations in the South and they took to the North and brought the CHG-IRAN component to the steppe and Western Europe."

I have difficulties understanding what do you want to say here. There is no evidence to derive Indo-Iranian directly from the west. Sintashta Culture in Southern Trans-Urals is every day more strongly connected to Late Proto-Indo-Iranian - here are two new articles confirming this archaeo-linguistic model:

Lubotsky, Alexander 2023: Indo-European and Indo-Iranian Wagon Terminology and the Date of the Indo-Iranian Split.
https://www.academia.edu/106978888/Indo_...nian_Split

Epimakhov, Andrey & Lubotsky, Alexander 2023: Fire and Water : The Bronze Age of the Southern Urals and the Rigveda
https://www.academia.edu/106979217/Fire_...Epimakhov_

Even if there were ten successive migrations from Caucasus to Central-South Asia, none of them can be connected to Indo-Iranian languages, if they do not agree with the linguistic results. This is the only scientific way for multidisciplinary comparison: we take the linguistic results, and then we look if there is a match concerning time, place, and direction of expansion. If there is not, then that migration (or cultural expansion) is not a match for that linguistic expansion. All ten migrations are then associated with some other languages than Indo-Iranian. We must remember that before the expansion of the extant languages, there were tens or hundreds of other languages, which later became extinct.
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