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Can a linguistic serial founder effect originating in Africa explain the worldwide phonemic cline?

It has been proposed that a serial founder effect could have caused the present observed pattern of global phonemic diversity. Here we present a model that simulates the human range expansion out of Africa and the subsequent spatial linguistic dynamics until today. It does not assume copying errors, Darwinian competition, reduced contrastive possibilities or any other specific linguistic mechanism. We show that the decrease of linguistic diversity with distance (from the presumed origin of the expansion) arises under three assumptions, previously introduced by other authors: (i) an accumulation rate for phonemes; (ii) small phonemic inventories for the languages spoken before the out-of-Africa dispersal; (iii) an increase in the phonemic accumulation rate with the number of speakers per unit area. Numerical simulations show that the predictions of the model agree with the observed decrease of linguistic diversity with increasing distance from the most likely origin of the out-of-Africa dispersal. Thus, the proposal that a serial founder effect could have caused the present observed pattern of global phonemic diversity is viable, if three strong assumptions are satisfied

This work was supported in part by ICREA (Academia Humanities award to J.F.), MINECO (grants nos. SimulPast-CSD-2010-00034 and FIS-2012-31307) and the Fundacio´n BBVA (grant no. Neodigit-PIN2015E)

© Journal of the Royal Society Interface, 2016, vol. 13, p. 20160185

Royal Society (Gran Bretanya)

Autor: Fort, Joaquim
Pérez Losada, Joaquim
Data: 27 abril 2016
Resum: It has been proposed that a serial founder effect could have caused the present observed pattern of global phonemic diversity. Here we present a model that simulates the human range expansion out of Africa and the subsequent spatial linguistic dynamics until today. It does not assume copying errors, Darwinian competition, reduced contrastive possibilities or any other specific linguistic mechanism. We show that the decrease of linguistic diversity with distance (from the presumed origin of the expansion) arises under three assumptions, previously introduced by other authors: (i) an accumulation rate for phonemes; (ii) small phonemic inventories for the languages spoken before the out-of-Africa dispersal; (iii) an increase in the phonemic accumulation rate with the number of speakers per unit area. Numerical simulations show that the predictions of the model agree with the observed decrease of linguistic diversity with increasing distance from the most likely origin of the out-of-Africa dispersal. Thus, the proposal that a serial founder effect could have caused the present observed pattern of global phonemic diversity is viable, if three strong assumptions are satisfied
This work was supported in part by ICREA (Academia Humanities award to J.F.), MINECO (grants nos. SimulPast-CSD-2010-00034 and FIS-2012-31307) and the Fundacio´n BBVA (grant no. Neodigit-PIN2015E)
Format: application/pdf
ISSN: 1742-5689 (versió paper)
1742-5662 (versió electrònica)
Accés al document: http://hdl.handle.net/10256/13439
Llenguatge: eng
Editor: Royal Society (Gran Bretanya)
Col·lecció: MICINN/PN 2013-2015/FIS2012-31307
Reproducció digital del document publicat a: http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsif.2016.0185
Articles publicats (D-F)
És part de: © Journal of the Royal Society Interface, 2016, vol. 13, p. 20160185
Drets: Attribution 3.0 Spain
URI Drets: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/es/
Matèria: Biologia de sistemes
Systems biology
Biologia computacional
Computational biology
Llenguatge i llengües -- Variació -- Models matemàtics
Language and languages -- Variation -- Mathematical models
Títol: Can a linguistic serial founder effect originating in Africa explain the worldwide phonemic cline?
Tipus: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Repositori: DUGiDocs

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