Technical Comments

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

Science  02 Mar 2012:
Vol. 335, Issue 6072, pp. 1042
DOI: 10.1126/science.1215107

You are currently viewing the abstract.

View Full Text

Abstract

Atkinson (Reports, 15 April 2011, p. 346) argues that the phonological complexity of languages reflects the loss of phonemic distinctions due to successive founder events during human migration (the serial founder hypothesis). Statistical simulations show that the type I error rate of Atkinson’s analysis is hugely inflated. The data at best support only a weak interpretation of the serial founder hypothesis.

View Full Text