Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 1
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Brandt, Guido Szécsényi-Nagy, Anna Roth, Christina Alt, Kurt Werner and Haak, Wolfgang 2015. Human paleogenetics of Europe – The known knowns and the known unknowns. Journal of Human Evolution, Vol. 79, p. 73.


    ×
  • The Antiquaries Journal, Volume 92
  • 2012, pp. 427-449

Bronze- and Iron-Age Celtic-speakers: what don't we know, what can't we know, and what could we know? Language, genetics and archaeology in the twenty-first century

  • Patrick Sims-Williams (a1)
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S000358151200011X
  • Published online: 23 August 2012
Abstract

In 1998 the author published ‘Genetics, linguistics and prehistory: thinking big and thinking straight’, a critique of late twentieth-century attempts to synthesize the disciplines of genetics, linguistics and archaeology. This paper assesses subsequent progress, using examples from various parts of the world, including Britain, Denmark, Finland, France, Frisia, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Micronesia, Portugal, Spain and the Canary Islands. The growing importance of mitochondrial DNA and the Y chromosome, rather than classical population genetics, is emphasized. The author argues that ancient DNA and early linguistic data should be used more. Languages mentioned include Aquitanian, Basque, Celtiberian, Etruscan, Finnish, Hungarian, Iberian, Lepontic, Lusitanian, Pictish, Raetic, ‘Tartessian’, Thracian and the Ladin dialect of the Italian Alps. Aspects of the ancient linguistic geography of Scotland and the Iberian peninsula are discussed, as is the difficulty of deciding the direction of spread of Indo-European and non-Indo-European languages. The potential of ancient place and personal names is illustrated from Celtic.

RÉSUMÉ

En 1998, l'auteur a publié Genetics, linguistics and prehistory: thinking big and thinking straight, critique des tentatives de la fin du XXe siècle de synthétiser les disciplines de la géné-tique, de la linguistique et de l'archéologie. Ce document évalue les progrès ultérieurs, en utilisant des exemples pris dans différentes parties du monde, notamment en Grande-Bretagne, au Danemark, en Finlande, en Frise, en Allemagne, en Hongrie, en Irlande, en Italie, en Micronésie, au Portugal, en Espagne et dans les îles Canaries. L'importance croissance de l'ADN mitochondrial et du chromosome Y, plutôt que la génétique classique des populations, est mise en avant. L'auteur avance que l'ADN ancien et les premières données linguistiques devraient être utilisés davantage. Les langues mentionnées incluent le gascon, le basque, le celtibère, l’étrusque, le finnois, le hongrois, l'ibère, le lépontique, le lusitanien, le picte, le rétique, le tartessien, le thracien et le dialecte ladin des Alpes italiennes. Certains aspects de la géographie linguistique ancienne de l’Écosse et de la péninsule ibérique sont abordés, tout comme la difficulté de décider de la direction de déplacement des langues indoeuropéennes et non indoeuropéennes. Le potentiel des noms anciens de lieu et de personne est illustré à partir du celte.

ZUSAMMENFASSUNG

1998 veröffentlichte der Autor die Abhandlung „Genetics, linguistics and prehistory: thinking big and thinking straight“, worin er die Versuche im ausgehenden 20. Jahrhundert um eine Synthese der wissenschaftlichen Bereiche von Genetik, Linguistik und Archäologie bespricht. Des weiteren werden die in der Folge erzielten Fortschritte anhand von Beispielen aus verschiedenen Teilen der Welt (Großbritannien, Dänemark, Finnland, Frankreich, Friesland, Deutschland, Ungarn, Irland, Italien, Mikronesien, Portugal, Spanien und den Kanaren) bewertet. Hingewiesen wird auch, im Gegensatz zur klassischen Populationsgenetik, auf die zunehmende Bedeutung der mitochondrialen DNA und des Y-Chromosoms. Der Autor argumentiert, dass historische DNA- und frühe linguistische Daten mehr verwendet werden sollten. Zu den in der Abhandlung erwähnten Sprachen zählen u.a. Aquitanisch, Baskisch, Keltiberisch, Etruskisch, Finnisch, Ungarisch, Iberisch, Lepontisch, Lusitanisch, Piktisch, Rätisch, ‘Tartessisch’, Thrakisch und die ladinischen Dialekte der italienischen Alpen. Aspekte der historischen linguistischen Geografie Schottlands und der iberischen Halbinsel werden behandelt, ebenso wie die Schwierigkeit der Entscheidung, die die Ausbreitungsrichtung der indoeuropäischen und nicht-indoeuropäischen Sprachen anbetrifft. Das Potenzial historischer Ortsbezeichnungen und Eigennamen wird anhand des Keltischen vor Augen geführt.

Copyright
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

A Achilli et al2004. ‘The molecular dissection of mtDNA haplogroup H confirms that the Franco-Cantabrian glacial refuge was a major source for the European gene pool’, American J Human Genetics, 75, 910918

J Adams M Otte 1999. ‘Did Indo-European languages spread before farming?’, Curr Anthropol, 40, 7377

M Alinei 2006. ‘Darwinism, traditional linguistics and the new Palaeolithic Continuity Theory of language evolution’, in Evolutionary Epistemology, Language and Culture (eds N Gonthier et al), 121147, Berlin: Springer

P Balaresque et al2010. ‘A predominantly Neolithic origin for European paternal lineages’, PLoS Biol, 8 (1): e1000285

V Battaglia et al2009. ‘Y-chromosomal evidence of the cultural diffusion of agriculture in southeast Europe’, European J Human Genetics, 17, 820830, 853

E M S Belle G Barbujani 2007. ‘Worldwide analysis of multiple microsatellites: language diversity has a detectable influence on DNA diversity’, American J Physical Anthropol, 133, 11371146



P E Bonnen et al2010. ‘European admixture on the Micronesian island of Kosrae: lessons from complete genetic information’, European J Human Genetics, 18, 309316

A D Børglum et al2007. ‘No signature of Y chromosomal resemblance between possible descendants of the Cimbri in Denmark and northern Italy’, American J Physical Anthropol, 132, 278284

F Brisighelli et al2009. ‘The Etruscan timeline: a recent Anatolian connection’, European J Human Genetics, 17, 693696

G B J Busby et al2012. ‘The peopling of Europe and the cautionary tale of Y chromosomal lineage R-M269’, Proc Roy Soc London, B, 279, 884892

C Capelli et al2003. ‘A Y chromosome census of the British Isles’, Curr Biol, 13, 979984

J Clackson 2007. Indo-European Linguistics: an introduction, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

D Comas et al2000. ‘Georgian and Kurd mtDNA sequence analysis shows a lack of correlation between languages and female genetic lineages’, American J Physical Anthropol, 112, 516

B Cunliffe 2003. The Celts: a very short introduction, Oxford: Oxford University Press

G Di Benedetto et al2000. ‘Mitochondrial DNA sequences in prehistoric human remains from the Alps’, European J Human Genetics, 8, 669677

I Dupanloup de Ceuninck et al2000. ‘Inferring the impact of linguistic boundaries on population differentiation: application to the Afro-Asiatic–Indo-European case’, European J Human Genetics, 8, 750756

I Dyen 1956. ‘Language distribution and migration theory’, Language, 32, 611626

P Forster , A Toth H-J Bandelt 1998. ‘Evolutionary network analysis of word lists: visualising the relationship between Alpine Romance languages’, J Quantitative Linguistics, 5, 174187

R Fregel et al2009. ‘The maternal aborigine colonization of La Palma (Canary Islands)’, European J Human Genetics, 17, 13141324


R D Gray , D Bryant S J Greenhill 2010. ‘On the shape and fabric of human history’, Phil Trans Roy Soc London, B, 365, 39233933

S Guimaraes et al2009. ‘Genealogical discontinuities among Etruscan, medieval, and contemporary Tuscans’, Molecular Biol Evolution, 26, 21572166

P Heggarty , W Maguire A McMahon 2010. ‘Splits or waves? Trees or webs? How divergence measures and network analysis can unravel language histories’, Phil Trans Roy Soc London, B, 365, 38293843

B M Henn , C R Gignoux , M W Feldman J L Mountain 2009. ‘Characterizing the time dependency of human mitochondrial DNA mutation rate estimates’, Molecular Biol Evolution, 26, 217230

S Y W Ho P Endicott 2008. ‘The crucial role of calibration in molecular date estimates for the peopling of the Americas’, American J Human Genetics, 83, 142146 (with reply on pp 146–7)

H J Holm 2007. ‘The new arboretum of Indo-European “trees”: can new algorithms reveal the phylogeny and even prehistory of Indo-European?’, J Quantitative Linguistics, 14, 167214

K L Hunley , G S Cabana , D A Merriwether J C Long 2007. ‘A formal test of linguistic and genetic coevolution in native Central and South America’, American J Physical Anthropol, 132, 622631

G R Isaac 2009. ‘A note on the name of Ireland in Irish and Welsh’, Ériu, 59, 4955

A Keller et al2012. ‘New insights into the Tyrolean Iceman's origin and phenotype as inferred by whole-genome sequencing’, Nature Communications, 3, article 698

F A Kondrashov A S Kondrashov 2010. ‘Measurements of spontaneous rates of mutations in the recent past and the near future’, Phil Trans Roy Soc London, B, 365, 11691176

M Lacan et al2011a. ‘Ancient DNA reveals male diffusion through the Neolithic Mediterranean route’, Proc Nat Acad Sci, 108, 97889791

M Lacan et al2011b. ‘Ancient DNA suggests the leading role played by men in the Neolithic dissemination’, Proc Nat Acad Sci, 108, 1825518259

O Lau et al2003. ‘Spatial patterns of cystic fibrosis mutation spectra in European populations’, European J Human Genetics, 11, 385394

N Maca-Meyer et al2004. ‘Ancient mtDNA analysis and the origin of the Guanches’, European J Human Genetics, 12, 155162

E Marris 2008. ‘The language barrier’, Nature, 453, 446448

B Martínez-Cruz et al2011. ‘In the heartland of Eurasia: the multilocus genetic landscape of Central Asian populations’, European J Human Genetics, 19, 216223

A Maugeri et al2002. ‘The ABCA4 2588G > C Stargardt mutation: single origin and increasing frequency from south-west to north-east Europe’, European J Human Genetics, 10, 197203

B McEvoy , M Richards , P Forster D G Bradley 2004. ‘The longue durée of genetic ancestry: multiple genetic marker systems and Celtic origins on the Atlantic facade of Europe’, American J Human Genetics, 75, 693702

B McEvoy , K Simms D G Bradley 2008. ‘Genetic investigation of the patrilinear kinship structure of early medieval Ireland’, American J Physical Anthropol, 136, 415422

D McManus 2009. ‘Good-looking and irresistible: the hero from early Irish saga to Classical poetry’, Ériu, 59, 57109

D Mishmar et al2003. ‘Natural selection shaped regional mtDNA variation in humans’, Proc Nat Acad Sci, 100, 171176

L T Moore , B McEvoy , E Cape , K Simms D G Bradley 2006. ‘A Y-chromosome signature of hegemony in Gaelic Ireland’, American J Human Genetics, 78, 334338

D Nettle 1999b. ‘Linguistic diversity of the Americas can be reconciled with a recent colonization’, Proc Nat Acad Sci, 96, 33253329

D Nettle L Harriss 2003. ‘Genetic and linguistic affinities between human populations in Eurasia and West Africa’, Human Biol, 75, 331344

A G M Neves C H C Moreira 2006. ‘Applications of the Galton Watson process to human DNA evolution and demography’, Physica A, 368, 132146

M E J Newman 2005. ‘Power laws, Pareto distributions and Zipf's law’, Contemporary Physics, 46, 323351

J Novembre et al2008. ‘Genes mirror geography within Europe’, Nature, 456, 98101

J Novembre M Stephens 2008. ‘Interpreting principal component analyses of spatial population genetic variation’, Nature Genetics, 40, 646649

K A O'Donnell et al2002. ‘The mutation spectrum of hyperphenylalaninaemia in the Republic of Ireland: the population history of the Irish revisited’, European J Human Genetics, 10, 530538

C T O'Dushlaine 2010. ‘Population structure and genome-wide patterns of variation in Ireland and Britain’, European J Human Genetics, 18, 12481254

J E Pattison 2008. ‘Is it necessary to assume an apartheid-like social structure in early Anglo-Saxon England?’, Proc Roy Soc London, B, 275, 24232429

D Reich , A L Price N Patterson 2008. ‘Principal component analysis of genetic data’, Nature Genetics, 40, 491492

J H Relethford 2008. ‘Geostatistics and spatial analysis in biological anthropology’, American J Physical Anthropol, 136, 110


Richards, Martin, Macaulay, V, Torroni, A and Bandelt, H-J 2002b. ‘In search of geographical patterns in European mitochondrial DNA’, American J Human Genetics, 71, 11681174

J Robb 1991. ‘Random causes with directed effects: the Indo-European language spread and the stochastic loss of lineages’, Antiquity, 65, 287291

L Roewer et al2005. ‘Signature of recent historical events in the European Y-chromosomal STR haplotype distribution’, Human Genetics, 116, 279291

Z H Rosser et al2000. ‘Y-chromosomal diversity in Europe is clinal and influenced primarily by geography, rather than by language’, American J Human Genetics, 67, 15261543

L Rudbeck et al2005. ‘mtDNA analysis of human remains from an early Danish Christian cemetery’, American J Physical Anthropol, 128, 424429

J Saillard , P Forster , N Lynnerup , H-J Bandelt S Nørby 2000. ‘mtDNA variation among Greenland Eskimos: the edge of the Beringian expansion’, American J Human Genetics, 67, 718726


P Soares et al2009. ‘Correcting for purifying selection: an improved human mitochondrial molecular clock’, American J Human Genetics, 84, 740759

P Soares et al2010. ‘The archaeogenetics of Europe’, Curr Biol, 20, R174R183

J Steele , P Jordan E Cochrane 2010. ‘Evolutionary approaches to cultural and linguistic diversity’, Phil Trans Roy Soc London, B, 365, 37813785

M Stenico , L Nigro G Barbujani 1998. ‘Mitochondrial lineages in Ladin-speaking communities of the eastern Alps’, Proc Roy Soc London, B, 265, 555561

M G Thomas , M P H Stumpf H Härke 2006. ‘Evidence for an apartheid-like social structure in early Anglo-Saxon England’, Proc Roy Soc London, B, 273, 26512657

A L Töpf , M T P Gilbert , R C Fleischer A R Hoelzel 2007. ‘Ancient human mtDNA genotypes from England reveal lost variation over the last millennium’, Biol Lett, 3, 550553

A Torroni et al1998. ‘mtDNA analysis reveals a major Late Paleolithic population expansion from southwestern to northeastern Europe’, American J Human Genetics, 62, 11371152

A Torroni et al2001. ‘A signal, from human mtDNA, of postglacial recolonization in Europe’, American J Human Genetics, 69, 844852

C Vernesi , S Fuselli , L Castrì , G Bertorelle G Barbujani 2002. ‘Mitochondrial diversity in linguistic isolates of the Alps: a reappraisal’, Human Biol, 74, 725730

F Villar 2004. ‘The Celtic language of the Iberian peninsula’, in Studies in Baltic and Indo-European Linguistics in Honor of William R. Schmalstieg (eds P Baldi and P U Dini), 243273, Amsterdam: John Benjamins

H W Watson F Galton 1875. ‘On the probability of the extinction of families’, J Anthrop Inst Great Britain Ireland, 4, 138144

M E Weale , D A Weiss , R F Jager , N Bradman M G Thomas 2002. ‘Y chromosome evidence for Anglo-Saxon mass migration’, Molecular Biol Evolution, 19, 10081021

R Spencer Wells et al2001. ‘The Eurasian heartland: a continental perspective on Y-chromosome diversity’, Proc Nat Acad Sci, 98, 1024410249

M L West 2007. Indo-European Poetry and Myth, Oxford: Oxford University Press


J F Wilson , D A Weiss , M Richards , M G Thomas , N Bradman D B Goldstein 2001. ‘Genetic evidence for different male and female roles during cultural transitions in the British Isles’, Proc Nat Acad Sci, 98, 50785083

B Winney et al2012. ‘People of the British Isles: preliminary analysis of genotypes and surnames in a UK-control population’, European J Human Genetics, 20, 203210

Y Xue et al2009. ‘Human Y chromosome base-substitution mutation rate measured by direct sequencing in a deep-rooting pedigree’, Curr Biol, 19, 14531457

P A Zalloua et al2008. ‘Identifying genetic traces of historical expansions: Phoenician footprints in the Mediterranean’, American J Human Genetics, 83, 633642

T Zerjal et al2003. ‘The genetic legacy of the Mongols’, American J Human Genetics, 72, 717721

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

The Antiquaries Journal
  • ISSN: 0003-5815
  • EISSN: 1758-5309
  • URL: /core/journals/antiquaries-journal
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×