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Sci Rep. 2017 May 8;7(1):1572. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-01837-7.

Human ancestry correlates with language and reveals that race is not an objective genomic classifier.

Author information

1
Center for Research on Genomics and Global Health, National Human Genome Research Institute, Building 12A, Room 4047, 12 South Drive, Bethesda, Maryland, 20892, USA.
2
Center for Research on Genomics and Global Health, National Human Genome Research Institute, Building 12A, Room 4047, 12 South Drive, Bethesda, Maryland, 20892, USA. rotimic@mail.nih.gov.
3
Center for Research on Genomics and Global Health, National Human Genome Research Institute, Building 12A, Room 4047, 12 South Drive, Bethesda, Maryland, 20892, USA. shrinerda@mail.nih.gov.

Abstract

Genetic and archaeological studies have established a sub-Saharan African origin for anatomically modern humans with subsequent migrations out of Africa. Using the largest multi-locus data set known to date, we investigated genetic differentiation of early modern humans, human admixture and migration events, and relationships among ancestries and language groups. We compiled publicly available genome-wide genotype data on 5,966 individuals from 282 global samples, representing 30 primary language families. The best evidence supports 21 ancestries that delineate genetic structure of present-day human populations. Independent of self-identified ethno-linguistic labels, the vast majority (97.3%) of individuals have mixed ancestry, with evidence of multiple ancestries in 96.8% of samples and on all continents. The data indicate that continents, ethno-linguistic groups, races, ethnicities, and individuals all show substantial ancestral heterogeneity. We estimated correlation coefficients ranging from 0.522 to 0.962 between ancestries and language families or branches. Ancestry data support the grouping of Kwadi-Khoe, Kx'a, and Tuu languages, support the exclusion of Omotic languages from the Afroasiatic language family, and do not support the proposed Dené-Yeniseian language family as a genetically valid grouping. Ancestry data yield insight into a deeper past than linguistic data can, while linguistic data provide clarity to ancestry data.

PMID:
28484253
PMCID:
PMC5431528
DOI:
10.1038/s41598-017-01837-7
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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