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  #11  
Old 21st April 2016, 05:24 PM
josh w. josh w. is offline
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Originally Posted by Petra View Post
http://gbe.oxfordjournals.org/conten...vw046.full.pdf

Here is the study to the article. As I said, I do not really have the insight into deep DNA science, I am happy to learn from your discussion about it.

Petra, thanks for the reference. The data appear to show that AJs are indeed closer to Turks than Lebanese. However, my objection remains. Elhaik's admixture program contains a Mediterranean region rather than a Levantine region----it is not precise enough to portray differences within the Mediterranean. . The Mediterranean region covers both Europe and Asia. However, despite my comments, I am open to Elhaik's theory. ( I was open to the Khazar theory until the data came in. I share the controversial position that most Ashkenazi MTdna lines came from Europe rather than the Levant)
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  #12  
Old 21st April 2016, 06:25 PM
josh w. josh w. is offline
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Originally Posted by josh w. View Post
Petra, thanks for the reference. The data appear to show that AJs are indeed closer to Turks than Lebanese. However, my objection remains. Elhaik's admixture program contains a Mediterranean region rather than a Levantine region----it is not precise enough to portray differences within the Mediterranean. . The Mediterranean region covers both Europe and Asia. However, despite my comments, I am open to Elhaik's theory. ( I was open to the Khazar theory until the data came in. I share the controversial position that most Ashkenazi MTdna lines came from Europe rather than the Levant)
Still concerned about Elhaik's motivation. The 'Israelites' population is limited to Palestinians (Muslims?) and Bedouins--two groups that were affected by migration from Arabia. As with his first study, it looks too much like a self fulfilling prophecy. However, as mentioned above, I will accept the findings if the study includes the Levantine region.
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  #13  
Old 22nd April 2016, 07:49 AM
josh w. josh w. is offline
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Originally Posted by josh w. View Post
Still concerned about Elhaik's motivation. The 'Israelites' population is limited to Palestinians (Muslims?) and Bedouins--two groups that were affected by migration from Arabia. As with his first study, it looks too much like a self fulfilling prophecy. However, as mentioned above, I will accept the findings if the study includes the Levantine region.
Beyond my pay grade, but critics such as Dienekes and Mark Thomas have questioned the accuracy of Elhaik's GPS (Admixture program) strategy with regard to making postdictions about where one lived 1000 years ago.

Last edited by josh w.; 22nd April 2016 at 08:00 AM.
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  #14  
Old 23rd April 2016, 12:47 PM
PNGarrison PNGarrison is offline
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abstract below; This seems to have more to do with origins of Yiddish than anything. Elhaik seems to have an agenda, but I don't how to evaluate this paper.
Localizing Ashkenazic Jews to Primeval Villages in the Ancient Iranian Lands of Ashkenaz
Ranajit Das1,2, Paul Wexler3, Mehdi Pirooznia4 and Eran Elhaik1,*
+ Author Affiliations

1Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK
2Manipal Centre for Natural Sciences (MCNS), Manipal University, Manipal, Karnataka, India
3Department of Linguistics, Tel Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, Israel
4Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins University
↵*Corresponding author: E-mail: e.elhaik@sheffield.ac.uk.
Accepted February 29, 2016.
Abstract

The Yiddish language is over 1,000 years old and incorporates German, Slavic, and Hebrew elements. The prevalent view claims Yiddish has a German origin, whereas the opposing view posits a Slavic origin with strong Iranian and weak Turkic substrata. One of the major difficulties in deciding between these hypotheses is the unknown geographical origin of Yiddish speaking Ashkenazic Jews (AJs). An analysis of 393 Ashkenazic, Iranian, and mountain Jews and over 600 non-Jewish genomes demonstrated that Greeks, Romans, Iranians, and Turks exhibit the highest genetic similarity with AJs. The Geographic Population Structure analysis localized most AJs along major primeval trade routes in northeastern Turkey adjacent to primeval villages with names that may be derived from “Ashkenaz.” Iranian and mountain Jews were localized along trade routes on the Turkey’s eastern border. Loss of maternal haplogroups was evident in non-Yiddish speaking AJs. Our results suggest that AJs originated from a Slavo-Iranian confederation, which the Jews call “Ashkenazic” (i.e., “Scythian”), though these Jews probably spoke Persian and/or Ossete. This is compatible with linguistic evidence suggesting that Yiddish is a Slavic language created by Irano-Turko-Slavic Jewish merchants along the Silk Roads as a cryptic trade language, spoken only by its originators to gain an advantage in trade. Later, in the 9th century, Yiddish underwent relexification by adopting a new vocabulary that consists of a minority of German and Hebrew and a majority of newly coined Germanoid and Hebroid elements that replaced most of the original Eastern Slavic and Sorbian vocabularies, while keeping the original grammars intact.
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  #15  
Old 23rd April 2016, 04:34 PM
josh w. josh w. is offline
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Originally Posted by PNGarrison View Post
abstract below; This seems to have more to do with origins of Yiddish than anything. Elhaik seems to have an agenda, but I don't how to evaluate this paper.
Localizing Ashkenazic Jews to Primeval Villages in the Ancient Iranian Lands of Ashkenaz
Ranajit Das1,2, Paul Wexler3, Mehdi Pirooznia4 and Eran Elhaik1,*
+ Author Affiliations

1Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK
2Manipal Centre for Natural Sciences (MCNS), Manipal University, Manipal, Karnataka, India
3Department of Linguistics, Tel Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, Israel
4Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins University
↵*Corresponding author: E-mail: e.elhaik@sheffield.ac.uk.
Accepted February 29, 2016.
Abstract

The Yiddish language is over 1,000 years old and incorporates German, Slavic, and Hebrew elements. The prevalent view claims Yiddish has a German origin, whereas the opposing view posits a Slavic origin with strong Iranian and weak Turkic substrata. One of the major difficulties in deciding between these hypotheses is the unknown geographical origin of Yiddish speaking Ashkenazic Jews (AJs). An analysis of 393 Ashkenazic, Iranian, and mountain Jews and over 600 non-Jewish genomes demonstrated that Greeks, Romans, Iranians, and Turks exhibit the highest genetic similarity with AJs. The Geographic Population Structure analysis localized most AJs along major primeval trade routes in northeastern Turkey adjacent to primeval villages with names that may be derived from “Ashkenaz.” Iranian and mountain Jews were localized along trade routes on the Turkey’s eastern border. Loss of maternal haplogroups was evident in non-Yiddish speaking AJs. Our results suggest that AJs originated from a Slavo-Iranian confederation, which the Jews call “Ashkenazic” (i.e., “Scythian”), though these Jews probably spoke Persian and/or Ossete. This is compatible with linguistic evidence suggesting that Yiddish is a Slavic language created by Irano-Turko-Slavic Jewish merchants along the Silk Roads as a cryptic trade language, spoken only by its originators to gain an advantage in trade. Later, in the 9th century, Yiddish underwent relexification by adopting a new vocabulary that consists of a minority of German and Hebrew and a majority of newly coined Germanoid and Hebroid elements that replaced most of the original Eastern Slavic and Sorbian vocabularies, while keeping the original grammars intact.
The linguistic theory is interesting. Some have suggested a Sorbian influence particularly in regard to grammar. However the Sorbs are Western rather than Eastern Slavs. The issue is not closed.

My main complaint is that the research design made it logically impossible to demonstrate that Jews have Levantine origins. All the studies that have a Levantine geographic component show that Jews have Levantine origins.
.

Last edited by josh w.; 23rd April 2016 at 04:37 PM.
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  #16  
Old 23rd April 2016, 04:51 PM
GST GST is offline
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Elhaik has a pattern of sensational claims, often on controversial topics, backed up by very shoddy science. In my opinion, he is not a competent scientist and he has an agenda in making these unsupported, controversial claims. My guess is he is mostly motivated by self-promotion. That would be consistent with the GPS nonsense.
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  #17  
Old 24th April 2016, 07:37 AM
josh w. josh w. is offline
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Originally Posted by GST View Post
Elhaik has a pattern of sensational claims, often on controversial topics, backed up by very shoddy science. In my opinion, he is not a competent scientist and he has an agenda in making these unsupported, controversial claims. My guess is he is mostly motivated by self-promotion. That would be consistent with the GPS nonsense.
Do you mean Elhaik's claim that GPS could postdict where a person lived 1000 years ago. Dienekes who invented the procedure used in GPS pointed to a mathematical problem. The GPS strategy yields a family of solutions rather than a single arbitrary solution. Mark Thomas thought that the claim was absurd since it relied on a naive understanding of genetics. Elhaik's study of Jews relied on his GPS claim
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  #18  
Old 25th April 2016, 07:48 PM
John McCoy John McCoy is offline
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I'm not sure the claim for AJ origins actually depends on the GPS stuff. As a thought experiment, the rest of the theory seems plausible enough and seems to "explain" a lot. Far from proof, but in the context of historical linguistics, I don't expect real proof. I'm not familiar with the literature; if we drop the GPS part of the argument, how much of Elhaik's proposal, if any, is actually new? Or is the appeal to genetic data the only novel element here?
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  #19  
Old 25th April 2016, 09:11 PM
josh w. josh w. is offline
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Originally Posted by John McCoy View Post
I'm not sure the claim for AJ origins actually depends on the GPS stuff. As a thought experiment, the rest of the theory seems plausible enough and seems to "explain" a lot. Far from proof, but in the context of historical linguistics, I don't expect real proof. I'm not familiar with the literature; if we drop the GPS part of the argument, how much of Elhaik's proposal, if any, is actually new? Or is the appeal to genetic data the only novel element here?
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  #20  
Old 25th April 2016, 09:22 PM
josh w. josh w. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John McCoy View Post
I'm not sure the claim for AJ origins actually depends on the GPS stuff. As a thought experiment, the rest of the theory seems plausible enough and seems to "explain" a lot. Far from proof, but in the context of historical linguistics, I don't expect real proof. I'm not familiar with the literature; if we drop the GPS part of the argument, how much of Elhaik's proposal, if any, is actually new? Or is the appeal to genetic data the only novel element here?
The linguistic analysis is the new part. It is Wexler's contribution. The jury is still out on the origins of Yiddish.

The dna part is Elhaik's . It is his second attempt to disprove that Jews have a claim to Israel. The first study was severely criticized and was contrary to all other autosomal reseach on the topic. I will not repeat my comments on the second study but expect more criticism from experts to follow (Most of my comments had nothing to do with GPS). Behar published a major criticism of the first study---The research and references can be found in Wikipedia on Jewish Genetics.

Last edited by josh w.; 25th April 2016 at 09:29 PM.
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