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Austronesian influence and Transeurasian ancestry in Japanese

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A case of farming/language dispersal

image of Language Dynamics and Change

In this paper, I propose a hypothesis reconciling Austronesian influence and Transeurasian ancestry in the Japanese language, explaining the spread of the Japanic languages through farming dispersal. To this end, I identify the original speech community of the Transeurasian language family as the Neolithic Xinglongwa culture situated in the West Liao River Basin in the sixth millennium BC. I argue that the separation of the Japanic branch from the other Transeurasian languages and its spread to the Japanese Islands can be understood as occurring in connection with the dispersal of millet agriculture and its subsequent integration with rice agriculture. I further suggest that a prehistorical layer of borrowings related to rice agriculture entered Japanic from a sister language of proto-Austronesian, at a time when both language families were still situated in the Shandong-Liaodong interaction sphere.

Affiliations: 1: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History martine_robbeets@hotmail.com

10.1163/22105832-00702005
/content/journals/10.1163/22105832-00702005
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/content/journals/10.1163/22105832-00702005
2017-01-01
2017-11-19

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