Abstract

The discovery of Liangdao man ca. 8,000 BP is academically significant. It may provide some clue for the Austronesian origin relating Taiwan and the southeast coast of China. We need interdisciplinary knowledge of archaeology, genetics and linguistics to make any meaningful study of such a case. The most recent genetic study indicates that the Liangdao man seems to be more closely related to modern Formosan natives than to the other peoples in South China and Southeast Asia. Ancient South China was almost exclusively populated by non-Chinese. There is linguistic evidence that the Austroasiatics inhabited the Yangtze delta and parts of the southeast coast during the first half of the first millennium B.C. Some of the Austroasiatic loanwords currently in Chinese in general and in Min are part of the basic vocabulary. This indicates the Chinese and Austroasiatics must have been in close contact for a long period of time before the first millennium B.C. The linguistic evidence for the genetic relationship between Austronesian and Austroasiatics is not very strong, but nevertheless exists. We can postulate that pre-Austronesian split apart from Austroasiatics in the southeast coast of China about 6,000 BP and dispersed to Taiwan to become proto-Austronesians.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2411-3484
Print ISSN
0091-3723
Pages
pp. 224-231
Launched on MUSE
2015-06-17
Open Access
No
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