Language Phylogenies Reveal Expansion Pulses and Pauses in Pacific Settlement
Gray, R.D., Drummond, A.J., & Greenhill, S.J. (2009) Language Phylogenies Reveal Expansion Pulses and Pauses in Pacific Settlement. Science, 323: 479-483.
Debates about human prehistory often center on the role that population expansions play in shaping biological and cultural diversity. Hypotheses on the origin of the Austronesian settlers of the Pacific are divided between a recent "pulse-pause" expansion from Taiwan and an older "slow-boat" diffusion from Wallacea. We used lexical data and Bayesian phylogenetic methods to construct a phylogeny of 400 languages. In agreement with the pulse-pause scenario, the language trees place the Austronesian origin in Taiwan approximately 5230 years ago and reveal a series of settlement pauses and expansion pulses linked to technological and social innovations. These results are robust to assumptions about the rooting and calibration of the trees and demonstrate the combined power of linguistic scholarship, database technologies, and computational phylogenetic methods for resolving questions about human prehistory. Abstract Full Text
Sorry, there are no files attached to this publication yet
- Does horizontal transmission invalidate cultural phylogenies?
- Language Phylogenies Reveal Expansion Pulses and Pauses in Pacific Settlement
- Austronesian language phylogenies: myths and misconceptions about Bayesian computational methods
- Testing Population Dispersal Hypotheses: Pacific Settlement, Phylogenetic Trees, and Austronesian Languages
- Matrilocal residence is ancestral in Austronesian societies
- The Austronesian Basic Vocabulary Database: From Bioinformatics to Lexomics
- The Pleasures and Perils of Darwinizing Culture (with phylogenies)
- How Accurate and Robust Are the Phylogenetic Estimates of Austronesian Language Relationships?
- Languages evolve in punctuational bursts
- On the shape and fabric of human history