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Communication

The Austronesian Advantage: Natural Selection and Linguistic Diversity

Genetic-Linguistic Interface Project, Trueffelweg 2, 70599 Stuttgart, Germany
Academic Editor: Kevin M. Kelly
Humans 2021, 1(1), 11-17; https://doi.org/10.3390/humans1010003
Received: 18 August 2021 / Revised: 9 September 2021 / Accepted: 13 September 2021 / Published: 15 September 2021
The “Austronesian advantage” suggests that Austronesian-speaking populations in Melanesia are resistant to tropical splenomegaly syndrome, a medical condition linked to chronic exposure to malaria. This hypothesis was proposed by Kevin M. Kelly in his 1988 dissertation, a subsequent 1990 paper, and a 1993 paper co-published with Jeffrey Clark. I now update the Austronesian advantage hypothesis with additional linguistic, anthropological, and genetic data. I find that cultural adaptations cannot fully explain the Austronesian expansion. Rather, the Austronesian advantage, a classic example of natural selection, completes the picture by connecting the Austronesian expansion with greater reproductive success. I also strengthen the Austronesian advantage hypothesis with data from Tibet. The correlation between language expansion and natural selection extends well beyond the Austronesian world. View Full-Text
Keywords: Austronesian languages; Papuan languages; linguistic anthropology; natural selection Austronesian languages; Papuan languages; linguistic anthropology; natural selection
MDPI and ACS Style

Clair, M.S. The Austronesian Advantage: Natural Selection and Linguistic Diversity. Humans 2021, 1, 11-17. https://doi.org/10.3390/humans1010003

AMA Style

Clair MS. The Austronesian Advantage: Natural Selection and Linguistic Diversity. Humans. 2021; 1(1):11-17. https://doi.org/10.3390/humans1010003

Chicago/Turabian Style

Clair, Michael S. 2021. "The Austronesian Advantage: Natural Selection and Linguistic Diversity" Humans 1, no. 1: 11-17. https://doi.org/10.3390/humans1010003

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