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Language continuity despite population replacement in Remote Oceania

Cosimo Posth 1 Kathrin Nägele 1 Heidi Colleran 2 Frédérique Valentin 3 Stuart Bedford 4, 5 Kaitip Kami 1, 6 Richard Shing 6 Hallie Buckley 7 Rebecca Kinaston 3, 8 Mary Walworth 9 Geoffrey Clark 10 Christian Reepmeyer 11 James Flexner 12 Tamara Maric 3 Johannes Moser 13 Julia Gresky 14 Lawrence Kiko 15 Kathryn J. Robson 16 Kathryn Auckland 17 Stephen J. Oppenheimer 18, 19 Adrian V.S. Hill 20 Alexander Mentzer 20 Jana Zech 21 Fiona Petchey 22 Patrick Roberts 23 Choongwon Jeong 1 Russell D. Gray 24 Johannes Krause 25 Adam Powell 26, 27
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.
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Submitted on : Thursday, June 4, 2020 - 6:42:52 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, March 2, 2021 - 10:19:33 AM

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Cosimo Posth, Kathrin Nägele, Heidi Colleran, Frédérique Valentin, Stuart Bedford, et al.. Language continuity despite population replacement in Remote Oceania. Nature Ecology & Evolution, Nature, 2018, 2 (4), pp.731-740. ⟨10.1038/s41559-018-0498-2⟩. ⟨halshs-02782241⟩



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