Comment on “Phonemic Diversity
Supports a Serial Founder Effect Model
of Language Expansion from Africa”
Cysouw, M., Dediu, D., & Moran, S.
Comment on “Phonemic Diversity Supports a Serial Founder Effect Model of Language Expansion from Africa”. Science, 335
, 657-b. doi:10.1126/science.1208841.
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.