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Главная arrow English arrow REGIONS BASED ON SOCIAL STRUCTURE
REGIONS BASED ON SOCIAL STRUCTURE Версия в формате PDF 
Написал AK   
23.03.2011

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REGIONS BASED ON SOCIAL STRUCTURE:

A RECONSIDERATION

(Or Apologia for "Diffusionism")

 

ANDREY KOROTAYEV

 

ALEXANDER KAZANKOV

 

 

Published in:

 

Current Anthropology 41/5 (2000): 668—690

Current Anthropology Publication Info

 

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Journal Cover
 

 

ABSTRACT. Our main suggestions regarding the world regionalization based on social structure, proposed by Burton et al. (1996) are:

              1. Some Burton's (et al.) regions can be united in broader macro-regions; first of all, the Middle Old World, Circumpolar Eurasian and (probably) Canada-West may be considered as belonging to one macro-region.  These regions are united not only  by  common patricentric patterns, but also by the fact that the overwhelming majority of this mega-region population speaks languages of three lingistic macro-families  (Nostratic, Afrasian and Sino-Caucasian) belonging (according to recent research) to one mega-family which we propose to denote as NASCa. The societies of the region not only cluster closely together, but also as a whole they display a statistically significant difference from the rest of the world in the  matricentric/patricentric dimension. A t-test which  we performed produced t=6.4 (significant at a much less than 0.001 level).

               2. A  new subdivision of the NASCa mega -region is proposed: we consider Europe as a separate region which split from the Middle Old World in the 1st millennium CE. The Circumpolar is regarded as a "pseudoregion" formed through the convergent adaptations to a similar environment, rather than through historical connectedness. It is also suggested to separate from the Circumpolar region Extreme East Asia (Japanese, Okinawa, Koreans and Ainu).

              3. The  other  suggested mega-region is "Austronesia",  uniting Burton's [et al.] Southeast Asia and Insular Pacific (most of whose ethnic groups are Austronesian) and Austronesian part of "Sahul" (which according to Burton et al. unites Australia, New Guinea, and Melanesia), charcterized in general by a strongly matricentric pattern.

              4. It  is suggested that the initial spread of the patricentric pattern of social organization in Eurasia, was connected with the early spread of the speakers of at least one of the mentioned linguistic macro-families (Nostratic), whereas the formation of the mentioned matricentric mega-region appears to be connected with the diffusion of Austronesian-speaking peoples.

 

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            In a recently published paper (Burton et al. 1996) the authors propose a new regionalization of the world based on social structure. Its main features are demonstrated by them with the following figures (Diagram 1 & Map 1 below).

            Our attention was immediately attracted by the left part of Diagram 1, containing 3 regions (Middle Old World, Canada-West and Eurasian-Circumpolar). Most of the ethnic groups populating those 3 regions belong to 3 linguistic macrofamilies: Nostratic[i], Afrasian (Semito-Hamitic) (Illich-Svitych 1971; 1976; 1984; 1989; Dolgopolsky 1964; 1989; 1995) and Sino-Caucasian[ii] (Starostin 1982; 1984; 1989).

As has been recently shown all those macrofamilies belong to an even larger megafamily (Starostin 1989; Orel 1995a; b).[iii] Orel suggests to denote this megafamily as Palaeolithic (Orel 1995a: 114). However, this name appears to be rather misleading, since at the end of Upper Palaeolithic there should have existed some other languages on the basis of which a number of other megafamilies must have developed (e.g. the ones comprising the modern Austronesian, Austroasiatic, Macro-Penutian etc. languages). We shall further denote this megafamily as "NASCa" (i.e. Nostratic + Afrasian + Sino-Caucasian). More than 90% of the Three Regions ethnic groups speak the NASCa languages, and moreover, the NASCa-speakers are practically absent outside those three regions. It is also significant that we find NASCa-speaking groups in the North American part of the Three Region macro-area: they are the Eskimoes whose languages are Nostratic (Helimski 1987), and the Na-Dene Indian groups whose languages belong to the Sino-Caucasian macro-family (Nikolaev 1989). The above stated assertions are illustrated by the following two scattergrams constructed by us on the basis of the raw data published by Burton et al.

            The first one plots the groups belonging to the Three Regions (Scattergram 1). The second plots the NASCa-speakers (Scattergram 2).

 

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