Actualité scientifique |

Conférences Wei Lanhai et Wen Shaoqing

Messieurs Lanhai WEI (doctorant sous co-direction par l’Inalco et l’Université de Fudan, Shanghai, Chine) et Shaoqing WEN (doctorant sous co-tutelle en cours par l’Inalco et l’Université de Fudan, Shanghai, Chine) donneront quatre conférences dans le cadre de l’ANR-12-BSH2-0004-01 coordonné par Mme Dan XU Existe-t-il une corrélation entre langues et gènes ?-Etudes dans la zone Nord-Ouest en Chine ?

(1) La première séance dont les deux résumés se trouvent ci-dessous aura lieu le 23 mars de 16h à 18h au 2 rue de Lille, 75007 Paris, salle 131.
(2) La deuxième séance dont les résumés seront envoyés plus tard aura lieu le 30 mars de 13h30 à 15h30 au 63 rue des Grands Moulins, 75013 Parsi, salle 4.13

Le Mercredi  23 mars 2016
Lanhai Wei
Expansion of Mongolic languages in genetic perspective
Shaoqing Wen
Genetic and linguistic insights into the population admixture and linguistic contact in Northwest China

Le Mercredi 30 mars 2016
Lanhai Wei
Separation of Sinitic and Tibeto-Burman languages: approach to paternal genetics
Shaoqing Wen
The formation of Xuejiawan people: a comparative analysis of linguistic and genetic evidence

 

Résumés des conférences

Mercredi 23 mars 2016

Lanhai Wei, Expansion of Mongolic languages in genetic perspective
The spread of human languages often were brought along with major demographic expansion. With precise genetic scenario, we may be able to investigate the internal differentiation of a language group at language cluster level. However, little work had been done. In previous works, we had produced a refined phylogenetic tree of paternal lineage of Mongolic-speaking populations, by Y-chromosome sequencing technology. In this study, we conduct a comprehensive comparison between paternal phylogenetic tree and the internal structure of Mongolic language group. The main results are: 1, There are two major demographic admixture events before the foundation of common ancestor group of current Mongolic-speaking populations; 2, We had identified a paternal lineage as the remains of proto-Mongolic populations, like ancient Xianbei tribes; 3, The separation of the Dagur language from other languages corresponds to the splitting of downstream of the predominant paternal lineage in Mongolic-speaking populations; 4, Within the predominant paternal lineage (C2b1b2a-F3796), all samples from Mongolic-speaking populations share a recent common ancestor; 5, The special status of the Buryat and Moghol languages within Mongolic language group is due to both demographic admixture and language contact. Our research indicates that accurate genetic dating can help us to explore recent differentiations of language groups, as well as to recognize unknown demographic admixture and/or language replacement events in the history. This new powerful approach can be applied to other linguistic groups over the world.
Keywords: Genetics; Y-chromosome sequencing; Mongolic language; internal differentiation

Wen Shaoqing, Genetic and linguistic insights into the population admixture and linguistic contact in Northwest China
Gansu province located in northwest China, which lies between Mongolian Plateau, Loess Plateau and Tibetan Plateau, was a linguistic, cultural and genetic mixing region for various ethnic groups speaking Sinitic languages and non-Sinitic languages. Within the historical context of east-west intercommunications, present-day populations in this area show a high level of both linguistic and genetic diversity, indicating that their languages and genetic makeup may be associated with complex process of linguistic contact and population admixture. As a result, there are some mixed populations and languages scattering over this area, such as Hui and Dongxiang, Tangwang, Wutun and Gangou, respectively. Nevertheless, little has been known about the origin and formation of the people and their mixed language.
In this study, we analyzed about 100 single nucleotide polymorphism and 17 short tandem repeat Y-chromosomal markers in a large sample of 1,525 indigenous individuals from 14 populations in Northwest China to reconstruct the paternal architecture. We also investigated 96 linguistic features from northwestern ethnic groups and other reference populations. Finally, we found different major haplogroup to be prevalent in each population that occupy distinct geographic regions and belong to different linguistic branches. Within haplogroups, a number of haplotype clusters were shown to be specific to various populations and languages. The data suggested that the modern northwestern populations should be an admixture of western and eastern Eurasians during various periods via Silk Road, followed by some extent of isolation, differentiation, and genetic drift in situ. Comparison of genetic and linguistic reconstructions covering the last few millennia showed striking correspondences between the topology and dates of the respective gene and language trees and with documented historical events.
Keywords: Y chromosome; Northwest China; population admixture; linguistic contact; linguistic feature

Mercredi 30 mars 2016

Lanhai Wei, Separation of Sinitic and Tibeto-Burman languages: approach to paternal genetics
The origin and dispersal of Sino-Tibetan language family in East Asia is complex, and there is controversy about the detailed diffusion process of its sub-branches. In addition, there are debates about the initial separation of Han language branch and other branches of this language family. From genetic perspective, the spread of human languages often were brought along with major demographic expansion.
In this work, we produce a refined phylogenetic tree of paternal lineage of Sino-Tibetan populations by Y-chromosome sequencing technology. We found that a number of paternal lineages are shared between Han populations and other Tibeto-Burman populations. The initial splitting age of these lineages can be traced back to Neolithic age. Beside, two major paternal lineages of some Tibeto-Burman populations are rare in Han populations, possibly due to population admixture in later age after the initial expansions.
Hence, we propose that the genetic evidence we observed support a model of demic diffusion of early common ancestors of all modern Sino-Tibetan populations toward different directions. Even though intense population admixture happened in later age, the initial splitting of common paternal lineages in Han populations and other Tibeto-Burman populations may correspond to the initial separation of Sinitic and Tibeto-Burman languages.

Shaoqing Wen, The formation of Xuejiawan people: a comparative analysis of linguistic and genetic evidence
Since a journalist reported in 1947 that the Xuejiawan people of Northwestern China had an ancient Gypsy origin, these so-called eastern gypsies have attracted wide publicity. Nonetheless, regarding the ethnic origins of the Xuejiawan people, scholars from different disciplines have stuck to their opinions, which mainly comprise three popular hypotheses (the ancient Gypsy origin hypothesis, the Northern Chinese origin hypothesis, and the southern Hmong-Mien origin hypothesis). The results of genetic and genealogical investigation, which involved 118 male individuals from 4 locations, from a set of representative clans (Liu 刘, Liu 柳, Gao 高 and He 何), show that no Western Y chromosomal lineages have been observed in the Xuejiawan people.
Moreover, a linguistic comparison of the mysterious Xuejiawan language with other potentially associated languages found that this language was a kind of argot, called Shaoju in Chinese, rather than a foreign language. The previous literature treats it as a mysterious non-Han language, or even a language of Gypsies who migrated to China. Our article shows with abundant proof that many words have been derived from various gang languages. Their phonology, morphology and syntax have to be classified into the Chinese language system.
Overall, a Gypsy origin cannot be accepted as true due to the paternal gene pool. The wide-ranging linguistic comparison also supports this viewpoint. Taken together, these suggest that the extant Xuejiawan people are more likely to be a subgroup of the Chinese majority Han.

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Centre de Recherches Linguistiques sur l'Asie Orientale
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http://crlao.ehess.fr/