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The Archaeo-Linguistics Of Migration

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Chapter Summary

In prehistory, one does not have direct documentary evidence of migrations, but archaeology and linguistics may provide clues. Often there are material objects and traces (studied by archaeology) and languages or linguistic features (studied by diachronic linguistics) in one place which bear a resemblance to those in another place. The task of listing the distinctive signatures of the types of language spread, in genetics, linguistics and archaeology has begun. Two issues which emerge from this model have been particularly highlighted: 1. the apparent presence of a period of language expansion without significant divergence, which the author has identified with the 'upstream' phase; and, 2. the role of marriage and related kinship systems in the termination of this phase and engagement with other groups in what he identifies as the 'downstream' phase.

Keywords: archaeology; downstream migration; linguistics; upstream migration



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