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Comment on “Phonemic Diversity Supports a Serial Founder Effect Model of Language Expansion from Africa”

Science  10 Feb 2012:
Vol. 335, Issue 6069, pp. 657
DOI: 10.1126/science.1208841

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We show that Atkinson’s (Reports, 15 April 2011, p. 346) intriguing proposal—that global linguistic diversity supports a single language origin in Africa—is an artifact of using suboptimal data, biased methodology, and unjustified assumptions. We criticize his approach using more suitable data, and we additionally provide new results suggesting a more complex scenario for the emergence of global linguistic diversity.

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