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Language phylogenies reveal expansion pulses and pauses in Pacific settlement

Gray, Russell; Drummond, Alexei J.; Greenhill, Simon

Description

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...[Show more]

CollectionsANU Research Publications
Date published: 2009
Type: Journal article
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1885/79771
Source: Science
DOI: 10.1126/science.1166858

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