Dienstag, 6. März 2007

The Anglo-Saxons ... Genes, Mind and Culture ....

Nicholas Wade gives a good survey in the NYT about current thinking of geneticists about the population history of the British Isles since their recolonization after the Ice-Age. Geneticists seem to agree, that most of current people in the British Isle are stemming from this recolonization after the Ice-Age and not from later migrations bringing agriculture (4000 BC) or by the Celts, the Anglo-Saxons or the Vikings. (But Bryan Sykes seems to make greater differences between small neolithic and big celtic genetic influence on current populations.)

The geneticists Stephen Oppenheimer, Bryan Sykes, Christopher Tyler-Smith, Mark Thomas, Peter Forster and others mostly disagree at the moment about the Anglo-Saxonian genetical influence. And there is another - may be - new insight:

English is usually assumed to have developed in England, from the language of the Angles and Saxons, about 1,500 years ago. But Forster argues that the Angles and the Saxons were both really Viking peoples who began raiding Britain ahead of the accepted historical schedule. They did not bring their language to England because English, in his view, was already spoken there, probably introduced before the arrival of the Romans by tribes such as the Belgae, whom Caesar describes as being present on both sides of the Channel. (...)

Germanic is usually assumed to have split into three branches: West Germanic, which includes German and Dutch; East Germanic, the language of the Goths and Vandals; and North Germanic, consisting of the Scandinavian languages. Forster's analysis shows English is not an offshoot of West Germanic, as usually assumed, but is a branch independent of the other three, which also implies a greater antiquity. Germanic split into its four branches some 2,000 to 6,000 years ago, Forster estimates.

Addendum: Razib Khan and others are sceptical concerning the last thoughts. Me too. But you should never say never.

Keine Kommentare:

Beliebte Posts

Registriert unter DieBestenBlogs.de