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Evolution

Themes and actions

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Evaluating congruence between genetic, morphological and linguistic evolutions : models and methods.


  Contact person
Mahe BEN HAMED

Scientific framework and objectives

The synthetic vision of the evolution of human populations, renewed since the 1980’s in archaeology and population genetics, often relies on linguistic controversies, conclusions or data. This poses a certain number of methodological problems, concerning how different types of data should be reconciled, for example, linguistic data versus morphological or genetic data. This unifying perspective can be formulated along two major issues: (1) the issue of congruence between these different data and/or the evolutionary histories inferred from them using the proper methodologies of each of the scientific fields concerned (2) the issue of the possible methodological transpositions between these fields.

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This PhD work, started in 2001, aims at analyzing, comparing and evaluating the different models used to reconstruct the history of languages and populations. It follows three main directions: (1) defining the notion of –genetic, morphological or linguistic- character, as well as the evolutionary specificities of languages, especially the temporal versus spatial dimensions, and assessing their methodological correlates; (2) on these grounds, applying phylogenetic methods to languages and (3) comparing and evaluating the relevance of the methods that allow testing congruence between the history of genes and the history of languages.


  Financial support
  • PICS

    Hong-Kong
    2001-2004
  • OHLL

    CNRS

  Publications
  • Ben Hamed, M., 2003, "Origine et expansion de l'afro-asiatique : méthodologie pour une approche pluridisciplinaire", Journées annuelles de la Société d'Anthropologie de Paris: "Histoire des Peuplements : approche interdisciplinaire.", Paris, France, 16-18 Janvier 2003.
  • Ben Hamed, M., Darlu, P., Vallée, N., 2002, "Reconstruction cladistique d'arbres linguistiques par les voyelles. Quels apports pour les typologies linguistiques ?", Colloque "Typologie des langues et Universaux linguistiques", Paris, France, 18-19 Novembre 2002.
  • Ben Hamed, M., Chikhi, L., Darlu, P., 2004, "Can Genetics help unravel the Afroasiatic cradle?", 5th International Conference on the Evolution of Language, Leipzig, Germany, 31 Mars-3 Avril 2004.
  • Ben Hamed, M., Darlu, P., 2004, "About Congruence, between data sets, pairwise matrices and tree topologies.", 32nd European Mathematical Genetics Meeting , Kiel, Germany, 29-31 Mars 2004.
  • Ben Hamed, M., Darlu, P., 2004, "What is congruence?", Language, Culture and Mind Conference: Integrating Perspectives and Methodologies in the study of Language , Portsmouth, UK, 18 - 21 Juillet 2004.
  • Ben Hamed, M., Wang, F., 2004, "Reconstructing the history of Chinese through lexicon: Cladistics, distances and trees.", XXIIIème Willi Hennig Society Meeting, Paris, France, 18 - 23 Juillet 2004.
  • Ben Hamed, M., Wang, F., 2004, "From Evolutionary Biology to the Evolution of Languages: the edge of transposability.", Language, Culture and Mind Conference : Integrating Perspectives and Methodologies in the study of Language , Portsmouth, UK, 18 - 21 Juillet 2004.
  • Ben Hamed, M., Darlu, P., 2003, "The origin and expansion of Afroasiatic: methodology for a pluridisciplinary approach (French title:"Origine et expansion de l'afro-asiatique : méthodologie pour une approche pluridisciplinaire).", Bulletins et Mémoires de la Société d'Anthropologie de Paris, 15, pp. 79-99
  • Ben Hamed, M., Darlu, P., 2003, "The origin and expansion of Afroasiatic: limits of genetics answer (French title: Origine et expansion de l'afro-asiatique : des limites méthodologiques de la génétique).", XXVIth Colloquium of the French-Speaking Anthropologists Group (GALF):"Biodiversity of Mediterranean Human populations", Marrakech, Maroc, 22-25 Septembre 2003.
  • Ben Hamed, M., Darlu, P., 2003, "Origine et expansion de l'Afro-Asiatique : méthodologie pour une approche pluridisciplinaire.", Journées Annuelles de la Société d'Anthropologie de Paris, Paris, France, 16-18 Janvier 2003.
  • Ben Hamed, M., Darlu, P., Vallée, N., 2003, "Cladistic reconstruction of linguistic trees through vocalic data.", Journal of Quantitative Linguistics, 12:1, pp. 79-109
  • Ben Hamed, M., 2005, "Neighbour-nets portray the Chinese dialect continuum and the linguistic legacy of China’s demic history", Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B , 272, pp. 1015–1022
  • Darlu, P., Ben Hamed, M., 2002, "Questions de Congruence", ALPHY, Paris, France, 29-30 Avril 2002.
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