Acta Anthropologica Sinica ›› 2022, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (06): 1037-1046.doi: 10.16359/j.1000-3193/AAS.2022.0006

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Early position of the Daur language branch in the Mongolian language group

SHAREN Gaowa1(), CHENG Huizhen1, WEI Lanhai2()   

  1. 1. School of Sociology and Anthropology, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005
    2. School of Ethnology and Anthropology, Inner Mongolia Normal University, Hohhot 021002
  • Received:2021-01-07 Revised:2021-09-18 Online:2022-12-15 Published:2022-12-19
  • Contact: WEI Lanhai;


According to previous linguistic work, the Daur language was categorized as a separate language or cluster in nearly all classifications of the larger Mongolic language group. Previous studies showed that many elements of the ancient Mongolic language in the 13th century are found in the modern Daur language. Here, based on evidence from genetics, history, ethnology, and linguistics, we explored the evolutionary history of the ancestral group of Mongol-speaking populations and provided an accurate timeframe for the early differentiation of Mongolic languages and the emergence of the Daur language as a separate branch. Y-chromosome lineage M401 is one of the paternal founding lineages of all Mongolic-speaking populations. The dominant paternal lineage of Daur, F5483, was one of the oldest sub-branches of M401, while most of the M401 individuals from other Mongolic-speaking populations belong to another lineage, the F3796 or other major sub-branch of M401. These two sub-branches differentiated at about 2,900 years ago. Studies of history, ethnology, and linguistics also revealed a permanent separation between Mongolic tribes who dispersed across the eastern Eurasian steppe and their relatives who remained as hunter-gatherers in the forest since the 9th century. In terms of demographic history, Daur is indeed the oldest branch of all Mongolic-speaking populations. We suggested that the multidisciplinary evidence, especially that of biological anthropology, supports the early branching of the Daur language from the Mongolic language group.

Key words: language, biological anthropology, Homo sapiens, Mongol, Daur language

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