PIE vs. Proto-World (Proto-Language)
Rick Mc Callister
rmccalli at sunmuw1.MUW.Edu
Wed Aug 11 17:16:46 UTC 1999
You misunderstood. "Non-African [modern human]" means as opposed to
non-African pre-modern Neandertal, etc. The "not limited to Africa"
mitochondrial gene pool obviously arose in Africa along with other modern
>[ Moderator's comment:
> I think what was meant is that the language families found outside
> Africa may
> relate to those within Africa in several ways:
> 1. All the language families may be grouped into a single super-family.
> 2. All the language families outside of Africa may be grouped with one or
> more, but *not* all, those within Africa.
> 3. Some language families found outside Africa may be grouped with one or
> more of those within Africa, and others with others.
> --rma ]
That's pretty much it. I'd modify statement 2 to "All the language
families outside of Africa may be grouped with one or more, but *not
necessarily* all, those within Africa."
As in the following diagram:
Modern Humans: arose c. 250-150KBP
I. Mitochondrial pools limited to Africa
II. Mitochondrial pool not limited to Africa: arose after 100KBP
Again, my point is that non-African languages probably arose from
the language used by the first speakers of this group.
Some African languages [in the geographical sense] may or may not
have originated from that language: e.g.
Afro-Asiatic is postulated to have originated somewhere between
Ethipia and Palestine, which is within the area populated by this
mitochondrial group. Cavalli-Sforza claims it arose from that group.
Niger-Kordofanian, IF it arose in the Sudan MAY have been
originally spoken by members of this mitochondrial pool.
The may be said of Nilo-Saharan.
Cavalli-Sforza syggests that the Khoisan [as opposed to all the
speakers of those languages] may have arisen in Ethiopia and may be more
closely related to the "not limited to Africa mitochondrial pool."
In any case, because IE and AA seem to have wiped out almost all
possible candidates for languages outside of Africa that possibly may have
had a different origin, my argument for mono-genesis of "non-African"
languages [with the possible exception of AA] is based currently existing
languages. Although it's possible, I doubt that any languages from the
"not-limited-to-Africa" pool leap-frogged IE and AA. If you factor in [the
possibility of] Nostratic, the odds are even slimmer.
I'm not saying that there wasn't any population movement between
Africa and the rest of the world afterwards. Just that it probably didn't
result in introducing new language families that survived to the present.
Except for linguistic pioneers moving into areas unhabited by modern
humans, the opportunities for linguistic expansion would have been
extremely limited until the rise of agriculture and sedentary life. The
great linguistic expansions in Africa occured in recent history due to
agriculture and metallurgy and did not affect areas outside of Africa.
I want to stress that this opinion is based on what I've read
regarding the current state of analysis published in widely read magazines.
Mitochondrial and other studies obviously need to be refined and carried
out with larger samples. Because of worldwide travel over the last few
centuries, I'm sure it's very possible to come up with misleading results.
Given that my own maternal grandmother was Melungeon [a local Appalachian
name for people descended from American Indians, runaway African slaves and
European indentured servants], my own mitochondria may well be from any of
the 7 or 8 pools.
Rick Mc Callister
Mississippi University for Women
Columbus MS 39701
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