View Full Version : Classification of the European Language Families by Genetic Distance

Saturday, May 15th, 2004, 03:51 PM
Classification of the European language families by genetic distance (http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/picrender.fcgi?artid=282741&action=stream&blobtype=pdf)

Saturday, May 15th, 2004, 04:03 PM
Thats interesting.

Saturday, May 15th, 2004, 07:56 PM
delete - im going to write about this later

Wednesday, July 18th, 2007, 08:13 PM
Classification of the European language families by genetic distance.

R M Harding and R R Sokal

Genetic distances among speakers of the European language families were computed by using gene-frequency data for human blood group antigens, enzymes, and proteins of 26 genetic systems. Each system was represented by a different subset of 3369 localities across Europe. By subjecting the matrix of distances to numerical taxonomic procedures, we obtained a grouping of the language families of Europe by their genetic distances as contrasted with their linguistic relationships. The resulting classification largely reflects geographic propinquity rather than linguistic origins. This is evidence for the primary importance of short-range interdemic gene flow in shaping the modern gene pools of Europe. Yet, some language families--i.e., Basque, Finnic (including Lappish), and Semitic (Maltese)--have distant genetic relationships with their geographic neighbors. These results indicate that European gene pools still reflect the remote origins of some ethnic units subsumed by these major linguistic groups.

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Wednesday, July 18th, 2007, 08:15 PM
Zones of sharp genetic change in Europe are also linguistic boundaries.

G Barbujani and R R Sokal

A newly elaborated method, "Wombling," for detecting regions of abrupt change in biological variables was applied to 63 human allele frequencies in Europe. Of the 33 gene-frequency boundaries discovered in this way, 31 are coincident with linguistic boundaries marking contiguous regions of different language families, languages, or dialects. The remaining two boundaries (through Iceland and Greece) separate descendants of different ethnic or geographical provenance but lack modern linguistic correlates. These findings support a model of genetic differentiation in Europe in which the genetic structure of the population is determined mainly by gene flow and admixture, rather than by adaptation to varying environmental conditions. Of the 33 boundaries, 27 reflect diverse population origins at often distant locations. Language affiliation of European populations plays a major role in maintaining and probably causing genetic differences.

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