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Y-Chromosome Diversity Is Inversely Associated with Language Affiliation in Paired Austronesian- and Papuan Speaking Communities from Solomon Islands // American Journal of Human Biology 18:35-50 (2006)

Cox et al

The Solomon Islands lie in the center of Island Melanesia, bordered to the north
by the Bismarck Archipelago and to the south by Vanuatu. The nation’s half-million inhabitants
speak around 70 languages from two unrelated language groups: Austronesian, a language family
widespread in the Pacific and closely related to languages spoken in Island Southeast Asia, and
‘‘East Papuan’’, generally defined as non-Austronesian and distantly related to the extremely
diverse Papuan languages of New Guinea. Despite the archipelago’s presumed role as a staging
post for the settlement of Remote Oceania, genetic research on Solomon Island populations is
sparse. We collected paired samples from two regions that have populations speaking
Austronesian and Papuan languages, respectively. Here we present Y-chromosome data from
these samples, the first from Solomon Islands. We detected five Y-chromosome lineages: M-M106,
O-M175, K-M9*, K-M230, and the extremely rare clade, K1-M177. Y-chromosome lineages from
Solomon Islands fall within the range of other Island Melanesian populations but display mark-
edly lower haplogroup diversity. From a broad Indo-Pacific perspective, Y-chromosome lineages
show partial association with the distribution of language groups: O-M175 is associated spatially
with Austronesian-speaking areas, whereas M-M106 broadly correlates with the distribution of
Papuan languages. However, no relationship between Y-chromosome lineages and language
affiliation was observed on a small scale within Solomon Islands. This pattern may result from
a sampling strategy that targeted small communities, where individual Y-chromosome lineages
can be fixed or swept to extinction by genetic drift or favored paternal exogamy.



© 2007 Молекулярная Генеалогия (МолГен)

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