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Paternal Austronesian Expansion Example

Out of Taiwan Model

A Work In Progress by Herbert Holeman, PhD.

These Draft Workpaper Notes Posted .

My DNA test findings are used for discussion.

• Ancient peoples from southern China are most closely related to modern-day Southeast Asians and show an affinity to modern-day Austronesian populations.

• My ancient genetic ancestry stems from the ancient Austro-Tai peoples in southeastern China some time between 2,000 and 2,500 BCE, who migrated from their ancient homelands in Fujian coast area and Taiwan who split off to form the Proto-Austroasiatic, Tai-Kadai people or the Proto Austronesian peoples.

• My paternal admixture serves as an example of the Out of Taiwan Southeast Asia Austronesian expansion. The Philippines Visayas and parts of Mindanao share an almost pure population composition, very close to the modern Taiwanese South Island Gaoshan people such as the Amis and Atayal


~7,000 years ago

A viable cultural mileu of fisherman-farmers, known as Austro-Tai, existed in the Fujian area on the south coast of China. They rice farmed and fished in the waters in the Straits of Taiwan from boats with hooks and nets.

A study paper published in July 2020, A Genetic History of China reported: "ancient individuals from southern China as being most closely related to modern-day Southeast Asians and show an affinity to modern-day Austronesian populations."

~5000 years ago

Peter Bellwood found these fishermen-farmers had crossed the 92 miles of the Straits and settled on Taiwan. Those remaining on the mainland would further migrate south into the Indo-Chinese peninsula to become culturally proto Tai-Kadai. Those who migrated to Taiwan and then southward by boat to the islands of the Indo-Pacific evolved to be known culturally as proto Austronesian. Peter Bellwood et al consider this pre Austronesian linguistic and cultural dispersal from southern China into Taiwan as occuring ~3500 BCE.

Austronesian ancestry predominates paternal lineages of Taiwan's indigenous Amis/Atayal highland-dwelling aborigines. They are also linguistically related to the Austronesian-speaking ethnic groups of the Philippines just next door to Taiwan where "the majority of the people in the Philippines are of Austronesian descent who migrated from Taiwan during the Iron Age."

Figure 31
Out of Taiwan Migration
Austronesian Expansion Pattern
Austronesia Map

Admixture mapping with such markers depicts the peopling of the islands of Southeast (ISEA) and reveals the genetic affinities between the indigenous Taiwanese and the ISEA Austronesian populations. Figure 31 refers to an out of Taiwan a Bayesian phylogenetic analysis of early Austronesians arriving in Taiwan ~6,000 years ago and leaving Taiwan ~4,000 years ago, perhaps island hopping, to northern Luzon (Figure 32) in the Philippines and venturing on to spread throughout Island Southeast Asia.

Figure 32
Taiwan Movement
O-F706 O-A16139

Arguably, these speakers of an early Austronesian language of Taiwan found settlements in the northern Philippines. The archaeological record from the Cagayan Valley in northern Luzon shows they brought with them the same set of stone tools and pottery they had in Taiwan. From here their descendants spread their language and culture through the Indo-Malayan archipelago east and west into the central Pacific Ocean.

~3,654 years ago

My ancestor with the O-A16139 marker (Figure 33) emerged and is associated with Austronesian ancestry. This can be viewed in the International Society of Genetic Genealogists (ISOGG), Haplogroup O Chart of 18 April 2020 and by the YFull Chart timeline

The Figure 33 chart is based on the results of my FTDNA Company NGS test (Big-Y). With a 95% level of confidence, it puts the origin of a O-A16139 subclade common ancestor ( also known as O-A16427) to be as recent as ~2,700 years ago.

Figure 33
My Genetic Marker O-A16139
by YFull Y Chart 16 January 2020

In particular, Figure 34 infers such a phylogenetic flow of my markers.

Figure 34
My Genetic Markers
by YFull Y Chart 16 January 2020

These markers refer back to having originated in geographical locations in present day mainland China and lend support to Harvard Scientist, Mark Lipson, findings of a genetic tracer dye for the Austronesian expansion ancestry present in peoples who today speak Austronesian languages. To quote a recent study, which supports the out of Tawain theory: The origin of Austronesian has always been a controversial subject in linguistics and other related fields. The Express Train Hypothesis, a well accepted linguistic theory on the origin of Austronesian postulates that proto-Austronesians originated in Taiwan and began to expand southward about 5,000-6,000 years ago by way of the Philippines and Eastern Indonesia.

Lipson finds nearly all people who speak such languages have some ancestry closer to aboriginal Taiwanese than to mainland East Asian population. They are speakers of an Austronesian language closely related to the Tai-Kadai language family that is the dominant language group today in Laos, Thailand and the north and east of Burma. Once established on Taiwan, the Austronesian speaking fishermen-farmers had quickly embarked on extensive colonizations in human history known as the Austronesian expansion. In addition to linguistics, this scenario is supported by Taiwan Y-chromosomal DNA variation and its relationship with Island Southeast Asia (ISEA).

Two of my autosomal tests offer examples of this Mainland-ISEA patern.

Figure 35
My Paternal Marker Migration
WeGene Company

DNA analysis by the Wegene Company traces my ethnic markers as being that of present day Southern mainland Han and consistent with that of the early inhabitants of Taiwan. The WeGene analytical algorithm uses machine learning based on the admixture ancestor analysis tool developed by the University of California (UCLA) in Los Angeles. The algorithm compares the tested person's autosomal DNA information with that of reference populations in their database and quantifies the similarities.

WeGene's admixture findings in Table 9 matched my DNA with that of populations now living in the geographical area of present-day Taiwan and those living in the Southern Han population some 81 miles across the Taiwan Straits in mainland Fujian. Razid Kann writes, "Fujian seem most similar to Austronesians. Today no one from these regions is "pure" southern. Rather, they are a mix. The Austronesians migrated out early enough that they carry southern East Asian ancestry exclusively."

Table 9
Map Coordinates Wegene Company

As reported in Table 9, my ancestry is ethnic Chinese most of wish is from the indigenous Amis and Atayal people and a bit less from Southern Han, which is dominant in Taiwan. Estimates are that about 85% of Taiwanese people might have some indigenous tribes' genetic markers.

Similarly, my admixture from anaysis by the DNALand Company in Figure 35 reports 21% Taiwanese ancestry. Of my 44% East Asian ancesty, 37% is Southeast Asian.

Figure 35
My Asian Ancestry Admixture
DNALand Company Analysis

Within the last 10,000 years, migrations have occurred to Taiwan and between Taiwan and the Visayas in the southernmost islands of Luzon and the northern and eastern coastal parts of Mindanao in the Philippines. For example, a modern-day study sample of the Philippines reveals that as recent as 1900, an almost pure population composition, very close to the modern Taiwanese South Island Gaoshan people such as the Amis and Atayal.

Copyright © 2018 Herbert P. Holeman, Ph.D. All Rights Reserved.