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Counting the paternal founders of Austroasiatic speakers associated with the language dispersal in South Asia

By Prajjval Pratap Singh, Shani Vishwakarma, Gazi Nurun Nahar Sultana, Arno Pilvar, Monika Karmin, Siiri Rootsi, Richard Villems, Mait Metspalu, Doron M Behar, Toomas Kivisild, George van Driem, Gyaneshwer Chaubey

Posted 18 Nov 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/843672

The phylogenetic analysis of Y chromosomal haplogroup O2a-M95 was crucial to determine the nested structure of South Asian branches within the larger tree, predominantly present in East and Southeast Asia. However, it had previously been unclear how many founders brought the haplogroup O2a-M95 to South Asia. On the basis of the updated Y chromosomal tree for haplogroup O2a-M95, we analysed 1,437 male samples from South Asia for various downstream markers, carefully selected from the extant phylogenetic tree. With this increased resolution, we were able to identify at least three founders downstream to haplogroup O2a-M95 who are likely to have been associated with the dispersal of Austroasiatic languages to South Asia. The fourth founder was exclusively present amongst Tibeto-Burman speakers of Manipur and Bangladesh. In sum, our new results suggest the arrival of Austroasiatic languages in South Asia during last five thousand years.

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