Lecture by Prof Martine Robbeets: “Is Japanese made-in-China? Language, culture and genes”

Part of the Abralin ao Vivo – Linguists Online lecture series

  • Date: Apr 17, 2021
  • Time: 15:00 - 16:00
  • Speaker: Professor Martine Robbeets
  • Location: Online
  • Host: Brazilian Linguistic Association
Lecture by Prof Martine Robbeets: “Is Japanese made-in-China? Language, culture and genes”
The origins of the Japanese language are among the most disputed issues of historical linguistics. In this talk, Prof Robbeets presents evidence for Transeurasian affiliation, relating Japanese to Korean, Tungusic, Mongolic and Turkic languages. This classification gives rise to new questions with regard to the location of the original homeland, the dating and the early dispersals of Transeurasian languages. She addresses these through ‘triangulating’ genetics, archaeology and linguistics in a unified perspective, among others presenting the first whole-genome analyses of ancient DNA for the Korean Peninsula and the Southern Ryukyus. By combining evidence from the three disciplines, Prof Robbeets shows that the spread of Japanese to the Japanese Islands was driven by agriculture.

Martine Robbeets is leader of the Archaeolinguistic Research Group at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena and teaches Transeurasian Linguistics as a Honorary Professor at the University of Mainz. In March she finalized an interdisciplinary research project on the dispersal of the Transeurasian languages, funded by the European Research Council. Previous affiliations include an Associate Professorship of Japanese Linguistics at Leiden University and visiting scholarships at the Universities of Tokyo, Leuven and Mainz. Her publications include "Is Japanese related to Korean, Tungusic, Mongolic and Turkic?" (2005, Harrassowitz), "Diachrony of Verb Morphology" (2015, de Gruyter Mouton) and various journal articles, book chapters and edited volumes.

To learn more about the Abralin ao Vivo series, click here: https://aovivo.abralin.org/en/about/ (external link)

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