GENEALOGY-DNA-L ArchivesArchiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2010-12 > 1291466666
From: "Lancaster-Boon" <>
Subject: [DNA] R1b and R1a fate
Date: Sat, 4 Dec 2010 13:44:26 +0100
>Tocharian is not attested in the steppe.
Correct. Just to make sure it is understood I did not claim it had been
> Also, it's attested about 4,000-5,000 years after early Indo-European (if
one accepts the steppe hypothesis). So, while the idea that it spread via
the steppe is as good as any, it is not, by any means, uncontroversial.
Can you please spell out your reasoning here? I do not know of any common
theory about how Tocharian could have got to where it was without having had
some ancestry on the steppes? To me it seems not only "as good as any"
theory it is, as I described it, uncontroversial. In other words I know of
no other mainstream theory, or controversy about this one.
> The purported similarities with Finno-Ugric are interesting; others have
suggested on the basis of linguistic data that the Proto-Indo-Europeans
lived in proximity to South Caucasian speakers.
The word "others" is not really necessary because the two links are both
fairly widely accepted, and are not in conflict with each other. Indeed the
steppe theory would put early IE right between the two.
> As for the centrality of the steppe, that is a very broad statement.
Sorry but which statement was very broad? This sentence refers to something
I wrote, I guess, but I am not sure precisely what and that makes it hard to
> The way I see it, in the steppe there is only one Indo-European branch
attested, the Iranian. Add, if you wish, both the Indo-Iranian progenitor of
Iranian _and_ Tocharian. But, that still lives dozens of extant and extinct
Indo-European branches and languages in Europe and Anatolia.
1. You miss Indo Aryan which was also on the steppes. Maybe, like Anatole,
you are confusing it with its branch.
2. "Iranian and Tocharian" is not a branch at all, and I know of no
linguistic position that has ever been taken in this direction. So Tocharian
was also on the steppe at some early point, and it has no particular
relationship to Indo-Aryan any closer than any other IE language group.
So I count 3 uncontroversial waves of dispersal of IE languages:
a. Ancestral Tocharian (and probably lots of relatives which became extinct
b. Indo-Aryan (of which Iranian is only one branch; but note NON-Iranian
languages within this family seem to have reached Anatolia AND India, which
is a pretty big distance.
What I have said, and I suspect both you and Anatole have misunderstood, is
that a BRANCH of R1a was likely to have been spread during at least the most
recent of these three waves. I would suggest it was in at least both b and