Languages and Genes: Comment on the Origin and Dispersal of Austronesian
- Available Online: 2018-10-01
Abstract: The origin and dispersal of Austronesian has always been a controversial issue in the field of linguistics. The correlation between language and gene evolution is one of the research fields of linguistics and molecular Anthropology. Here we reviewed the different hypothesis about the origin and dispersal of Austronesian in historical linguistics in the perspective of theory, methods and materials, and also discussed the limitations of previous researches. On this basis, we put forward a new scenario on the origin and dispersal of Austronesian from the perspective of interdisciplinary cooperation combining the latest results of genetics and molecular anthropology. The ancestors of the Thai-Austronesian population can be traced back to the southern mainland China. Their migration and diffusion toward Taiwan and Southeast Asia had began from 5000—6000. B.P. One branch migrated to Taiwan,via Philippines, the easthern of Indonesia, to the Remote Oceanic, who created the early Lapita culture there; The other branch migrated through the Indo-Sino peninsula, Island Southeast Asia to the easthern Indonesia. Many present-day populations in Southeast Asia are the admixtures of these above two groups with the indigenous populations who speak Papuan languages. The people who stayed in the southern mainland China have developed into the present-day Tai-Kadai related populations and then Tai-Kadai populations mixed with the northern Han Chinese to form southern Han Chinese.