Aug 30, 2012

Genetic perspectives on the origin of clicks in Bantu languages from southwestern Zambia

European Journal of Human Genetics : EJHG
Chiara BarbieriBrigitte Pakendorf

Abstract

Some Bantu languages spoken in southwestern Zambia and neighboring regions of Botswana, Namibia, and Angola are characterized by the presence of click consonants, whereas their closest linguistic relatives lack such clicks. As clicks are a typical feature not of the Bantu language family, but of Khoisan languages, it is highly probable that the Bantu languages in question borrowed the clicks from Khoisan languages. In this paper, we combine complete mitochondrial genome sequences from a representative sample of populations from the Western Province of Zambia speaking Bantu languages with and without clicks, with fine-scaled analyses of Y-chromosomal single nucleotide polymorphisms and short tandem repeats to investigate the prehistoric contact that led to this borrowing of click consonants. Our results reveal complex population-specific histories, with female-biased admixture from Khoisan-speaking groups associated with the incorporation of click sounds in one Bantu-speaking population, while concomitant levels of potential Khoisan admixture did not result in sound change in another. Furthermore, the lack of sequence sharing between the Bantu-speaking groups from southwestern Zambia investigated here and extant Khoisan populati...Continue Reading

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  • Citations12

Citations

Mentioned in this Paper

Short Tandem Repeat
African Continental Ancestry Group
Chromosomes, Human, Y
Human Migration
School Age Population
Chromosomes
Single Nucleotide Polymorphism
Tetranucleotide Repeats
Genome, Mitochondrial
Speech Sounds

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