Human Origins/Amerindian Origins

Welcome to Human Origins/Amerindian Origins page!

I use kinship systems and terminologies as a strategic interface between linguistics and population genetics to construct models of human population dispersals in the Late Pleistocene. I test the Out-of-Africa model and the various models of the peopling of the New World. I approached this subject in my Russian book The Phenomenon of Kinship (St. Petersburg, 2001) as well in a monographic study in English entitled The Global Diversity of Kinship Terminological Patterns: Implications for the Peopling of the Americas and the Out-of-Africa Model of Human Dispersals (see Table of Contents). This one still has to be published.

So far, I have sampled some 2500 languages for their kin vocabularies and have done systematic screening for cross-generational equations and sibling terminologies (see Database). I applied the anthropological methods of analyzing kin terminologies to elicit the sociological information they contain, and combined them with information available on linguistic classification and synchronic and diachronic typology. I constructed a global tree of sibling nomenclatures, with which the other parameters seem to agree.

Kinship evidence does not support the out-of-Africa theory (African kinship systems lack all the structurally important archaic features). Alternatively, American Indians do not stand out as a young population. They share profound affinities with Southeast Asia, Oceania, and Australasia suggesting that the antiquity of American Indians must exceed the 12,000 year-old Clovis-I threshold.

I will post more research papers in the future. For now, please read a conference paper from 1998, a short article published in Current Research in the Pleistocene and a short piece from 2004. (Originally it was also intended for CRiP, but finally withdrawn because of the journal’s limited format. Thanks are due to Johanna Nichols and Ian Hodder, though, who read, commented and corrected a draft of this piece.)





Global Diversity of Kinship Terminological Patterns: Implications for the “Peopling of the Americas

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