Language continuity despite population replacement in Remote Oceania

Posth, Cosimo, Nägele, Kathrin, Colleran, Heidi, Valentin, Frédérique, Bedford, Stuart, Kami, Kaitip W., Shing, Richard, Buckley, Hallie, Kinaston, Rebecca, Walworth, Mary, Clark, Geoffrey R., Reepmeyer, Christian, Flexner, James, Maric, Tamara, Moser, Johannes, Gresky, Julia, Kiko, Lawrence, Robson, Kathryn J., Auckland, Kathryn, Oppenheimer, Stephen J., Hill, Adrian V.S., Mentzer, Alexander J., Zech, Jana, Petchey, Fiona, Roberts, Patrick, Jeong, Choongwon, Gray, Russell, Krause, Johannes, and Powell, Adam (2018) Language continuity despite population replacement in Remote Oceania. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 2. pp. 731-740.

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Abstract

Recent genomic analyses show that the earliest peoples reaching Remote Oceania—associated with Austronesian-speaking Lapita culture—were almost completely East Asian, without detectable Papuan ancestry. However, Papuan-related genetic ancestry is found across present-day Pacific populations, indicating that peoples from Near Oceania have played a significant, but largely unknown, ancestral role. Here, new genome-wide data from 19 ancient South Pacific individuals provide direct evidence of a so-far undescribed Papuan expansion into Remote Oceania starting ~2,500 yr bp, far earlier than previously estimated and supporting a model from historical linguistics. New genome-wide data from 27 contemporary ni-Vanuatu demonstrate a subsequent and almost complete replacement of Lapita-Austronesian by Near Oceanian ancestry. Despite this massive demographic change, incoming Papuan languages did not replace Austronesian languages. Population replacement with language continuity is extremely rare—if not unprecedented—in human history. Our analyses show that rather than one large-scale event, the process was incremental and complex, with repeated migrations and sex-biased admixture with peoples from the Bismarck Archipelago.

Item ID: 52727
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2397-334X
Funders: Max Planck Society (MPS), Marsden Fund of the Royal Society of New Zealand (MFRSNZ), National Geographic (NG), Australian Research Council (ARC), Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), University of Otago (UO), European Research Council (ERC)
Projects and Grants: MFRSNZ Fast-Start 9011/3602128, MFRSNZ 04-U00-007, NG Scientific Research grant 7738-04, ARC DP0880789, ARC DP160103578, CNRS UMR-7041, MFRSNZ UOO0917, ERC 758967
Date Deposited: 29 Jun 2018 03:19
FoR Codes: 21 HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 2101 Archaeology > 210102 Archaeological Science @ 40%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0604 Genetics > 060401 Anthropological Genetics @ 50%
20 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 2004 Linguistics > 200499 Linguistics not elsewhere classified @ 10%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9505 Understanding Past Societies > 950599 Understanding Past Societies not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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