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  The origin and expansion of Pama–Nyungan languages across Australia

Bouckaert, R., Bowern, C., & Atkinson, Q. D. (2018). The origin and expansion of Pama–Nyungan languages across Australia. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 2, 741-749. doi:10.1038/s41559-018-0489-3.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0000-E70C-F Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0000-E70D-E
Genre: Journal Article

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Bouckaert, Remco1, Author              
Bowern, Claire, Author
Atkinson, Quentin D.1, Author              
Affiliations:
1Linguistic and Cultural Evolution, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Max Planck Society, ou_2074311              

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 Abstract: It remains a mystery how Pama–Nyungan, the world’s largest hunter-gatherer language family, came to dominate the Australian continent. Some argue that social or technological advantages allowed rapid language replacement from the Gulf Plains region during the mid-Holocene. Others have proposed expansions from refugia linked to climatic changes after the last ice age or, more controversially, during the initial colonization of Australia. Here, we combine basic vocabulary data from 306 Pama–Nyungan languages with Bayesian phylogeographic methods to explicitly model the expansion of the family across Australia and test between these origin scenarios. We find strong and robust support for a Pama–Nyungan origin in the Gulf Plains region during the mid-Holocene, implying rapid replacement of non-Pama–Nyungan languages. Concomitant changes in the archaeological record, together with a lack of strong genetic evidence for Holocene population expansion, suggests that Pama–Nyungan languages were carried as part of an expanding package of cultural innovations that probably facilitated the absorption and assimilation of existing hunter-gatherer groups. A Bayesian phylogeographic analysis of vocabulary from 306 Pama–Nyungan languages suggests that the language family rose to dominance across Australia in a process of rapid replacement following an origin in the Gulf Plains region during the mid-Holocene.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2018-03-08
 Publication Status: Published online
 Pages: 9
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 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Method: Peer
 Identifiers: Other: shh969
DOI: 10.1038/s41559-018-0489-3
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Title: Nature Ecology & Evolution
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: London : Nature Publishing Group
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 2 Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 741 - 749 Identifier: ISSN: 2397-334X
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/2397-334X