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Some scholars like Oppenheimer locate the origin of the Austronesian languages in Sundaland and its upper regions. [...] Genetic research reported in 2008 indicates that the islands which are the remnants of Sundaland were likely populated as early as 50,000 years ago, contrary to a previous hypothesis that they were populated as late as 10,000 years ago from Taiwan.
This paragraph is so confused that I don't know where to begin. Obviously Oppenheimer is generally clueless about linguistics and history, not only when it comes to Great Britain, because again, lonely in the field, he locates the urheimat of Austronesian in Southeast Asia, while a "broad consensus" (taken from the quote under Austronesian languages#Homeland) accepts Taiwan. But he is a geneticist (i. e., a real scientist who can actually handle numbers, calculations and statistics), that's why he's a superior authority on linguistic urheimaten, I suppose, and all the linguists (lowly humanities academics who do not have hard, tangible facts to boast with, only words, texts and blather) who disagree and their reasons are not worth to be cited (yeah, I'm being sarcastic and polemical here).
The second sentence construes a controversy (using an incompetent and thus irrelevant source) that frankly doesn't exist. It's like saying that the English migration to North America cannot have taken place as late as 300 years ago, because the area was populated many millennia earlier. Duh! The English migration is a much later spread. In both cases, the former ethnic layer is still extant and thus openly in evidence, in plain sight. The "Negrito" populations sprinkled throughout Southeast Asia (together with the Papuans), who partly have even retained their own, obviously non-Austronesian languages, have long been recognised as descendants of the first wave(s) of H. sapiens sapiens migration to Southeast Asia. The "Out of Taiwan" hypothesis only concerns a much more recent spread, the one associated with the Austronesian languages, not the original peopling of the area. The same glaring misunderstanding of the hypothesis is actually found in other articles, too, and apparently traceable to Oppenheimer in general. There is no contradiction between the migrations roughly 50,000 years ago (which have long been generally accepted) and the Austronesian migration out of Taiwan (which, by the way, had to cross seas that the ancestors of the "Negrito" populations could still pass by migrating along coasts, as the land bridges were still there). By the way, the source actually says 4,000 years ago! But the beginning of the spread of Austronesian is usually placed at 6,000 BP, i. e. about 4,000 BC, so neither figure is correct. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 22:58, 12 November 2011 (UTC)
Maybe the confusion lies in the failure to chronologise and separate the different migration flows out of and into Sunda/SE Asia. And also maybe the scientists have yet to come to a widely accepted consensus? Which migration of 50K YBP are you talking about that has been generally accepted long time ago? Then there's this apparent new findings in 2008 by geneticist saying that there is a evidence suggesting that there is a migration coming out of Sundaland heading northwards towards Taiwan and China (or even westward towards India) around 15K-7K YBP coinciding with the submergence of Sundaland (which seems to support Oppenheimer, but not exactly his theory on Austronesian languages). Then there's the apparent earlier consensus among linguists saying there's a migration flow southwards from Taiwan towards SE Asia around 6K - 4K YBP representing the spread of Austronesian languages. There's a paper suggesting that the new out of Sunda theory might not be entirely inconsistent with the out of Taiwan theory, saying that the out if Taiwan might have represented a "counterflow" of the earlier Sunda migrants to the north. [source: http://shinku.nichibun.ac.jp/jpub/pdf/jr/JN1902.pdf] I suggest we remove Oppenheimer's Austronesia languages homeland theory for now but perhaps leave the part about the out of Sunda migration flow theory since that part was supported by the new 2008 geneticist theory? ќמшמφטтгמtorque 01:47, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
Come to think of it, i agree that the paragraph is confusing and inaccurate. A complete rewrite is necessary. ќמшמφטтгמtorque 05:24, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
There appears to be a problem with some sources that ive found relating to the new 2008 genetic research finding, that the articles seem to suggest that they've completely debunked the out of Taiwan hypothesis/consensus rather than allowing for the possibility of a counterflow.
It is always good to remember that a language is not a genome. They are two independent things. It is entirely possible that a linguistic/cultural analysis can indicate spread from one region, while genomic analysis simultaneously indicates a spread from elsewhere. This can happen when a (for example highly advanced, or even just militarily overpowering) culture invades and dominates a region with a genetically different population. Eventually the colonized people adopt the language of the invading culture. Thus e.g. Iroquois speak English, though genetically they're more closely related to northeast Siberians (or whoever). So it may be that e.g. the Melanesian languages did truly come about as a colonization product from Taiwan, while the indigenous people came from Sundaland. In fact, allowing for the Sundaland genetic hypothesis to be valid alongside the Taiwan language hypothesis would give "out of Taiwan" linguists a jolly good reason to look for hints of pre-Taiwanic (?) substrates in Melanesian languages. AllGloryToTheHypnotoad (talk) 16:55, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
Kawaputra, see Coastal migration. Indeed, languages are not genomes and genetic evidence is completely irrelevant to the issue of the spread of Austronesian, the language family. It's like saying Singapore English comes from China just because of the gene flow from there. That there are pre-Austronesian substrates in Melanesian languages is well-accepted. After all, non-Austronesian languages are still spoken in the region and clearly pre-date Austronesian there. It's quite possible that the gene flow out of Sundaland was associated with a language spread, but it's far too long ago to know what exactly did spread, and the pre-Austronesian languages of the Sunda Islands have not survived. All we have are hints of Negrito-like populations throughout the region. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 17:30, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
There are several theories regarding the Austronesian Urheimat - and they are being discussed elsewhere: