Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2006-02 > 1138859225

From: Philip Ritter <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] New York Times Article
Date: Wed, 01 Feb 2006 21:47:32 -0800
References: <><>
In-Reply-To: <>

The languages spoken on Madagascar are Austronesian, which is the language
family that Polynesian belongs to. The Malagasy language belongs to the
Western Austronesian branch (which includes Indonesian, Filipino, Formosan,
and Malaysian) rather than the Oceanic subgroup which includes
Polynesian. Western Austronesian speakers tend to have many typical Asian
DNA markers. Thus it would not be surprising to find typical Asian (and
perhaps by extension, Native American) markers in people from
Madagascar. At least I think that is what the original poster meant. One
study of Madagascar DNA that looked at mtDNA and y-chromosomes found about
a 50-50 mix of Indonesian (specifically Borneo) and African DNA
( ). The study
suggested that Madagascar was settled by a diverse population from Borneo
1.5 to 2 thousand years ago, followed by smaller (less diverse) numbers of
East Africans who contributed their DNA but not their language to the
Malagasy people.

This is also relevant to the claim of an earlier poster who suggested
Fijians have some ancestry in common with Africans. This would not result
from Fiji being settled by Africans (at least not with the last 10,000
years), but from Austronesian speakers having settled Fiji (maybe 3
thousand years ago, after mixing with the earlier inhabitants of New Guinea
and Melanesia who arrived 40 to 50 thousand years ago), while other
Austronesian speakers reached Madagascar within the last 2 thousand years.

At 04:27 PM 2/1/2006, you wrote:
>Gareth wrote:
>"The language spoken on Madagascar is related to Polynesian languages.
>This would explain the Native American and Chinese, perhaps."
>Because ...?
>Ray Whritenour
>Search the US Census Collection. Over 140 million records added in the
>last 12 months. Largest online collection in the world. Learn more:

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