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Title: Kinship structures create persistent channels for language transmission

Here, languages are transmitted through channels created by kinship systems. Given sufficient time, these kinship channels can change the genetic and linguistic structure of populations. In traditional societies of eastern Indonesia, finely resolved cophylogenies of languages and genes reveal persistent movements between stable speech communities facilitated by kinship rules. When multiple languages are present in a region and postmarital residence rules encourage sustained directional movement between speech communities, then languages should be channeled along uniparental lines. We find strong evidence for this pattern in 982 individuals from 25 villages on two adjacent islands, where different kinship rules have been followed. Core groups of close relatives have stayed together for generations, while remaining in contact with, and marrying into, surrounding groups. Over time, these kinship systems shaped their gene and language phylogenies: Consistently following a postmarital residence rule turned social communities into speech communities.
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [2] ; ORCiD logo [6] ;  [2] ;  [7] ; ORCiD logo [8]
  1. Santa Fe Institute, Santa Fe, NM (United States); Nanyang Technological Univ. (Singapore); Stockholm Resilience Center, Stockholm (Sweden)
  2. Nanyang Technological Univ. (Singapore)
  3. Univ. of Lausanne, Lausanne (Switzerland)
  4. Santa Fe Institute, Santa Fe, NM (United States); Nanyang Technological Univ. (Singapore); Medical Univ. of Vienna, Vienna (Austria); Complex Science Hub Vienna, Vienna (Austria); International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Laxenburg (Austria)
  5. The Ohio State Univ., Columbus, OH (United States)
  6. Santa Fe Institute, Santa Fe, NM (United States); Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  7. Genome Diversity and Diseases Lab., Jakarta (Indonesia); Univ. of Indonesia, Jakarta (Indonesia); Univ. of Sydney, Sydney, NSW (Australia)
  8. Massey Univ. (New Zealand)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0027-8424
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 114; Journal Issue: 49; Journal ID: ISSN 0027-8424
National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC (United States)
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Universities/Institutions; USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
60 APPLIED LIFE SCIENCES; language; kinship; coevolution; cultural evolution; population genetics
OSTI Identifier: