LINGUIST List 6.947

Fri Jul 7 1995

FYI: New gene and Indo-Europeans, Australian lgs

Editor for this issue: Ann Dizdar <>


  1. "H. M. Hubey", New gene and Indo-Europeans
  2. "Brett Baker", Australian Languages

Message 1: New gene and Indo-Europeans

Date: Thu, 06 Jul 1995 16:03:02 New gene and Indo-Europeans
From: "H. M. Hubey" <>
Subject: New gene and Indo-Europeans

New gene study enters the Indo-European fray, Science News, June 24, 1995

Analysis of DNA from modern humans supports other indications that a
northern migration of farmers from ancient Turkey and the Middle East,
beginning around 9,000 years, shaped Europe's genetic geography. The DNA
data also bolster a controversial theory that links this agricultural
expansion to the spread of Indo-European languages, contend Albert
Piazza, a geneticist at the University of Torino, Italy and his

However, genetic finds may also lend weight to a contrary proposal, the
researchers add: than nomads from the central Eurasian Yamna culture
spread Indo-European languages shortly after they invented wheeled
vehicles approximately 5,500 years ago.

"It is possible that both expansions were responsible for the spread
of different subfamilies of Indo-European languages, but our
genetic data cannot resolve their relative importance" the researchers

 [description of the genetic tests...]

A map developed from about one-fifth of the observed gene differences
shows a trend toward a genetic split between populations in the
extreme north and those in the southern regions.... It could result
from different adaptations to cold climates as well as the separation
of northern groups, which spoke Uralic languages, from Indo-European

A third map, derived from about one-tenth of the entire set of
gene differences, displays DNA changes that peak in central
Eurasia and tail off throughout Europe. This pattern corresponds
roughly to the movement of the Yamna people into Europe.

 [more stuff about controversy..]

Now for a commercial message :-)..

I still think they're off but they are coming closer and closer
all the time :-)..
See chapters VI and VII of my book; Mathematical and Computational

Regards, Mark
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Message 2: Australian Languages

Date: 07 Jul 1995 15:09:43 +1000Australian Languages
From: "Brett Baker" <>
Subject: Australian Languages

 Subject: Time: 3:08 PM
 OFFICE MEMO None Date: 7/7/95

This is a short note to bring to your attention the Handbook of Top End
Languages which I am currently compiling. If you have seen the other Handbooks
such as the Central Australian one (Menning and Nash), the Kimberley one
(McGregor) or the West Australian one (Thieberger), this is fundamentally the
same format (with the addition of kinship and social classification

The Handbook is meant to be an open publication, available to all interested
parties, but with a particular focus on providing information to speakers and
their communities about work done in their languages.

The Handbook is fundamentally intended to be an updateable database, though
tailor-made hardcopies can be easily produced. It is written in FileMaker Pro,
an application which combines the textual structuring strengths of Nisus, with
the iconicity of Hypercard in interfacing. FileMaker Pro can be read by both
IBM and Mac computers.

The grant for this project runs out in September; the Handbook is now at the
stage where contributions should be in and drafts commented on. Draft copies
are available (at the cost of sending discs to me) at this stage principally
to researchers and communities who are involved with the Top End. Copies of
parts of the Handbook are with Peter Carroll, Patrick McConvell, Caroline
Coleman (Darwin), Melanie Wilkinson (Nhulunbuy), Ian Green (ANU/Batchelor),
Nick Evans (UMelb). Complete versions are on computer at Katherine Language
Centre and USydney linguistics. These versions are freely copyable but note
*DRAFT* status.

Please feel free to contact me for
discussion/suggestions/help/contributions/harangues etc.

Brett Baker
Dept. of Linguistics
USyd NSW 2006
phone 02 351 2696
fax 02 552 1683
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