Category Archives: Taiwan

A Look at the Tsou Language

Method and Conclusion. See here.

Results. A ratings system was designed in terms of how difficult it would be for an English-language speaker to learn the language. In the case of English, English was judged according to how hard it would be for a non-English speaker to learn the language. Speaking, reading and writing were all considered.

Ratings: Languages are rated 1-6, easiest to hardest. 1 = easiest, 2 = moderately easy to average, 3 = average to moderately difficult, 4 = very difficult, 5 = extremely difficult, 6 = most difficult of all. Ratings are impressionistic.

Time needed. Time needed for an English language speaker to learn the language “reasonably well”: Level 1 languages = 3 months-1 year. Level 2 languages = 6 months-1 year. Level 3 languages = 1-2 years. Level 4 languages = 2 years. Level 5 languages = 3-4 years, but some may take longer. Level 6 languages = more than 4 years.

This post will look at the Tsou language in terms of how difficult it would be for an English speaker to learn it.

Austro-Tai

Austronesian

Formosan

Tsouic

Tsou is a Taiwanese aborigine language spoken by about 2,000 people in Taiwan.

Tsou is also ergative like most Formosan languages. Tsou is the only language in the world that has no prepositions nor anything that looks like a preposition. Instead it uses nouns and verbs in the place of prepositions. Tsou allows more potential consonant clusters than most other languages.

About 1/2 of all possible CC clusters are allowed. Tsou has an inclusive/exclusive distinction in the 1st person plural and a very strange visible and non-visible distinction in the 3rd person singular and plural. Both adjectives and adverbs can turn into verbs, as they are marked for voice in the same way that verbs are. Verbs are extensively marked for voice.

Nouns are marked for a variety of odd cases, often referring to perception (visible/invisible) and person and place deixis

'e         "visible and near speaker"
si/ta      "visible and near hearer"
ta         "visible but away from speaker"
'o/to      "invisible and far away or newly introduced to discourse"
na/no ~ ne "non-identifiable and non-referential"*

*often when scanning a class of elements

Tsou gets a 5 rating, extremely hard to learn.

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No Conservatives Allowed on This Website!

We have had a few conservatives posting here in the past few days. These are US-style conservatives, which are the worst kind of all. US-style conservatives are absolutely banned from posting here in any way, shape or form.

Conservatism means different things in different countries, so conservatives from much of the rest of the world (except Latin America and the UK) can continue to post. Even Canadian conservatives can continue to post, as I do not mind them. It’s not conservatism itself that is so awful. Almost every country on Earth has people who call themselves conservatives, and there are conservative parties in almost every country on Earth. But being a conservative just about anywhere outside of the Americas is more or less an acceptable position for me. I probably won’t like their politics much, but I could at least look at them and say that this is an opposition I could live with.

US conservatives and their brethren in the UK, Latin America, the Philippines, Nepal and and Indonesia are quite a different beast.

I have to think hard about conservatives in Eastern Europe, especially Estonia, Latvia and the Czech Republic. These fools had such a bad experience with Communism that they went 180 degrees in the other direction. I would have to see the positions of these conservative parties in those countries to see whether they would be OK or not.

Just to give you an example, Vladimir Putin is considered to be a right-winger, and his party United Russia advocates a politics called Russian Conservatism. Looking at the party’s platform, this is not only a conservatism that I could live with but one I might even vote for!

Conservatives in South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, and most other places in Asia are acceptable. The conservatives in the Stans, Georgia, Ukraine, and Armenia can be rather awful, particularly in the nationalist sense, but I will not ban them.

I dislike Indian conservatives, but I will not ban them.

Conservatives from the Muslim World are all acceptable. In the Muslim World, conservatism just means religious and sometimes nationalist. I can live with that. Even the ones in Iran are orders of magnitude better than the US type.

Conservatives in the Arab World are acceptable. They are mostly just religious people.

Turkish conservatives are awful, but I will not ban them. They are just religious and a particularly awful type of nationalist.

African conservatives are OK.

Conservatives in Ireland, France, Spain, Portugal, Germany,  the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Italy, Switzerland, Italy, the Balkans, Bulgaria, Greece, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, and Romania are sometimes good, sometimes pretty bad, but they are all acceptable here. Conservatism in Europe mostly means nationalism. I am actually rather fond of the conservative running Hungary, Orban. LePen conservatives leave something to be desired, but they are acceptable. They’re mostly just nationalists. Hell, I might even vote for Marine LePen! If it was down to LePen versus Macron, I would absolutely support LePen!

Conservatives from Indonesia, Nepal and Philippines are not OK. These are an “everything for the rich elite, nothing for anybody else” type of conservative. Some of them even hide under the labels of Socialist or even Communist.

The word conservative has no real inherent meaning. It means whatever people say it means.

Anyway, the conservatives in the US are pure garbage and recently they have become out and out fascists after moving in that direction for a long time. And a particularly horrible type of fascist at that, a Latin American/Filipino/Indonesian style fascist. I will not allow any US conservatives to post on this board. You all are lucky I even let you lurk here. That’s an idle threat as I can’t ban lurkers, but if they all stopped lurking, I would not mind frankly.

You all really ought to go back to the gutters you crawled out of.

PS This especially applies to Libertarians, the very worst of all the US conservative vermin. We shoot Libertarians on sight here, so you better watch out.

*This applies only to economic conservatives. If you are not an economic conservative, and your conservatism is only of the social variety or you are only conservative on race, religion, guns, law and order, respect for tradition, American nationalism, the military, gender, sexual orientation or gender identity issues, you can stay. I’m not crazy about some social conservatives, but I can live with them. I will probably even let patriotards post as long as they are not economic conservatives.

I am an American nationalist myself. I just don’t like patriotards. Of course, I very much dislike and even hate the country as it is right now, but I sure don’t want to make it worse! I have to live here too you now, and it might as well be as pleasant as possible as long I stay here.

I want what’s best for my country. I don’t want to harm this country or screw it over. That will be bad for me! And believe it or not, most US patriotards do not want what is best for the country! I have dreams of a greater and better America. It’s not impossible, but we will have to undergo some serious cultural changes. One of the reasons I am so against illegal immigration is because it is ruining my country and making this place even worse. Also illegal immigration is terrible for US workers and I am for the workers. I am against H-1B visas for the same reason – they are wrecking my country. IT workers are workers too, so they are my comrades. I want what is best for America and American workers.

I cannot live with economic conservatives. I like cancer way more than I like US conservatives. Cancer is much more decent and respectable.

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The Old “Arab Israelis Have It So Good” Argument

Malla: Well, I did some research on this and it seems the Mizrahi had a more realistic opinion about Arabs and non Whites in general, while the Ashkenazim (and maybe Sephardics), especially during the early days of Israel, had a more idealistic opinion of the Third World. But the Mizrahi themselves are non-Whites. If Arabs and non-Whites then so are Mizrahis because Mizrahis are just Arabs. Besides, many Ashkenazis came with socialistic ideas of kibbutz farming and hippieness, while the Mizrahi were more realistic.

Check this interesting video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f80NnYflDU8

Check out the Ashkenazi/Mizrahi couple at 6:52. So it seems more Mizrahi (Middle Eastern Jews) are more right wing and support predatory violent behavior towards Arabs and Palestinians, while the Ashkenazis (Euro Jews) vote more left and are friendlier to Arabs (idealistic mindset). I do not know how the Sephardics and Ethiopians Jews vote.

Besides, Israel has a massive poverty rate, one of the highest in OECD countries. No wonder they get pissed by migrants from Africa taking way their jobs.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_SSd0rgTc1E

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPuQwFX2J2A

But Israel has an overall high standard of living. Arabs in Israel, in spite of whatever racism they face, have a higher standard of living and social freedoms than most other Arab countries. Only Tunisia and Christian-dominated Lebanon come close in social freedom, and the Gulf states are the only ones who have more income among Arabs.

This is similar to the case in Rhodesia and South Africa where the Blacks had a higher standard of living than Blacks in the rest of the African continent. Or Singapore, where the Indians and Malays have a higher standard of living than Malaysia and definitely (much, much, much) higher standard of living than India thanks to the huge Chinese population. Singapore’s quality of life is comparable to other Chinese majority developed places like Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. One may ask that if Anglo-Celts and other Northern Euros never came to Australia would such an Australia (Australia full of only aborigines) be so developed as it is today or it would be more like Papua New Guinea.

It’s pretty bad to compare the surrounding Arabs with New Guineans and Aborigines. The whole Arab World is built up to Hell. They’re all modern countries over there. I have seen photos of Libya before the war, and it looks like Miami. I saw a recent photo of Casablanca, and it looked like LA. I have seen photos of the rest of the region, even war-torn Syria and Iraq, and they look like regular modern countries. There’s not a lot of difference between in the ordinary street scene between Amman, Beirut, Damascus or even Cairo and Tel Aviv. It all looks the same, like any modern built-up country.

There is none of the horrible poverty you see in India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Latin America or Black Africa.

Arabs will not tolerate that sort of abject shantytown type poverty. They are basically socialist people who don’t care about money too much and believe that everyone should be well taken care of. Social safety nets are ordinary things in every Arab country. There’s no debate about this sort of thing. They are not individualists. They are collectivists. And they don’t think rich people are better than poor people. They are not particularly greedy, and they have a “We are all part of one village” mindset wherever they live.

Semi-feudalism came late to the Arab World via the Ottomans, and it never worked well. There were landed gentry and fellahin, or landless peasants. Nasser was the man who confiscated the land from the land barons and gave it to the landless peasants. If you went around the whole Arab World back then, even in say Yemen, there was a portrait of Nasser on every wall. Now in Western or Latin American culture, doing that is called Communism, and everyone hates it. But the Arabs love this sort of thing.

Baath nationalist parties came in in Syria and Iraq around 1960, a revolutionary socialist state arose in Libya in 1969, and another one was birthed in Algeria in 1964. Land was confiscated from feudal latifundiaists in all of these place and distributed to the peasants. The governments were all officially socialist, secularization was enforced even at gunpoint if it took that, huge safety nets were set up, and the state even got involved in quite a few of the larger industries and became a major employer. All of this was wildly popular all over the region.

US style radical individualism and Libertarian free market capitalism is totally anathema to all of those societies. For one thing, it goes against Islam, as Islam is a socialist religion. In feudal times, large Arab landowners enlisted the help of the local imams in interpreting parts of the Koran where it said, “Some are rich, and some are poor, and that’s all just fine” or something to that effect, but it never worked well. It ended up turning the local imams into hated figures like the priests of Catholic Church in the West and Latin America who always sided with the rich against the people.

So this whole idea that the Israeli Arabs have it good for having some extra money falls flat on Arab and even Arab Israeli ears. Standard of living is not number one on their list of the most important things in life.

If the Arabs are all so jealous of Israel, why are the non-oil Arabs are not jealous of the oil Arabs? Typical Jews to reduce everything down to money. Arabs don’t care that much about money. They don’t revolve their whole lives around money or sit around hating Jews for having more skyscrapers. That’s not important to your average Arab.

I have never in my life heard one Arab tell me they were jealous of Israel.

In Palestine, White European racist fascists invaded the region, started wars with everyone around them, and, being high IQ, produced a developed economy. So what? These jerks get brownie points because they are rich? I’m supposed to love them because they’re rich and hate those Arabs because they’re poor?

The commenter is an Indian, that’s why he thinks that way. We are socialists here; we don’t think like this. Actually I think the more money someone has, the worse of a person he tends to be, but that’s just me.

All of these arguments were used by the South Africans who practiced a very similar White settler-colonial project far after this stuff went out of style.

Arabs in Israel are not happy people. They’re angry, and they have no loyalty to the state at all. The Jewish fascists say the Arabs are traitors, and the Jews are actually correct on that score. Indeed they have no loyalty to the state and do not even see themselves as Israelis.

The similarities between Israel and apartheid South Africa are striking. It’s notable that Israel was long one of South Africa’s strongest allies, and towards the end, it was one of their only allies. Arab Israelis are are institutionally treated as second class citizens in exactly the same way the Blacks were under apartheid. 

Were those Blacks happier on their South African Nigger Plantation because they had a higher standard of living? They were not, but this was the argument that was used to show that they were happy Negroes toiling away cheerfully in the sun for their beloved White slavemasters. Similarly, South Africa moved into the neighborhood and in a matter of time, like Israel, it was soon also embroiled in wars with most if not all of its neighbors. Similarly, South Africa, like Israel, had zero friends in the region.

Blacks in South Africa and Arabs in Israel don’t want money and stuff. White Gentiles and Jews only care about money, and they don’t care about humans, so they think everyone else feels that way too. But they don’t. People want to be free, even if being free means not having as much stuff. Stuff doesn’t make people happy. You can keep giving your slave the latest gadgetry in his slave quarters, but he’s still not a free man.

Same with South Africa. Hey look, these White European racist fascists came in here and built up the region and made a big economy because they have higher IQ’s! So what. I am supposed to like them more because they are rich and hate those Africans because they are poor? I realize this is Indian thinking, but we socialists do not think that way.

Arabs have more political rights in all of the Arab World. In the Arab World, they are not systematically discriminated against due to their religion or ethnicity.

I would argue that those Arabs in Israel do not want all of those social freedoms. Freedom to do what?

And what social freedoms do they have there that they do not have in the rest of the region? How are the social freedoms of Arab Israeli Christians better than those of Arab Christians in Lebanon or Syria? Someone needs to clue me.

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The “Taiwan Miracle” Nonsense

The people who ran Taiwan were the same folks who had completely run China into the ground by 1949, resulting in a life expectancy of 1949. Their legacy was repeated famines, foot-binding, murder of female children, epidemic wife-beating and more or less feudal relations in the countryside. Most Chinese peasants were little more than slaves or serfs. They were serfs on a landlord’s feudal estate.

The landlord or his buddies could go visit the serfs at any time and do whatever he wanted to with them? He had the power of life and death over them. He could kill or beat up any serf he wanted to at any time. He could steal any of their property. And especially he could rape the wives and daughters of the peasants, which he did in epidemic form.

When the Communists took over, in the first few years, they did a land reform, dissolved the feudal estates and distributed the landlords’ land to peasants with no compensation. The Communists simply stole the landlords’ land. And in same time  period, the Communists decided to  put the landlords on trial. The trials were held in the villages and towns and the peasants were to serve as judge and jury. These were wild raucous public trials and in most cases, the peasants convicted the landlords of many of the crimes above and sentenced them to death. Up to 3 million landlords were executed by the peasants themselves.

This is what happens in peasant uprisings under feudalism. Study the subject of peasant uprisings down through time, and this is how they always end up. For centuries before feudalism was dismantled, there were peasant uprisings the world over. They even occurred in Peru under Inca rule! Usually they were horrifically bloody and if the peasants won, typically they simply killed all the feudal lords and everyone who helped them. The Chmielnicki Uprising in the 1500’s in Poland resulted in all the landlords and half the Jews because they were tax collectors for the landlords. But it also caused the deaths of 1/3 of the population of the country!

Under the Nationalists, feudalism and warlordism was the way in China. There was almost no state at all. Feudal landlords also served as warlords. Their warlord armies held sway in the countryside.

Go read The Good Earth by Pearl Buck sometime. That is what life was like in China under the Nationalists and that was the same way it had been for centuries. The Nationalists did not give a damn about anyone who was not rich. It was a feudal party of landlords and warlords.

The Taiwan miracle happened because when the Nationalists fled China, they took almost every nickel in the country with them. That’s why Mao had such a hard time at first. He was starting with more or less nothing. Also they completely dismantled the feudal landlord-warlord system under severe pressure from the US. Then they did a land reform under heavy pressure from the US also. Then the US flooded money into Taiwan for decades in an effort to make Taiwan an anti-Communist showcase, sort of a propaganda exhibit to compare it with China.

Sure the Nationalists turned around Taiwan. Taiwan has a population of what? 50 million? Try doing that with 1.3 million. And the only reason Taiwan junked warlordism, landlordism and feudalism and did a land reform was because Mao won the war. If Mao would have lost the war, China would have just continued with their landlordism, warlordism and feudalism because that was how the Nationalists had governed for decades before and how their predecessors had governed for centuries before that.

If Mao wouldn’t have won, why would the Nationalists have dismantled the system? And don’t forget that 4% of the population left the country and took almost every dime in the place with them when they left. If they would have stayed the money would have stayed in China, so the nationalists would have had 96% less money. Show me how they do their miracle now? And if there had been no revolution, why would the Nationalists have made those massive economic changes they did when they went to Taiwan. Getting rid of landlordism, feudalism and warlordism was a response to the threat of Communism. If they would have continued on with the system the Nationalists were running in China on Taiwan, they would have had another Communist uprising on the island for sure.

Oh and one more thing. When the Nationalists fled to Taiwan, one of the first things they did was to kill 300,000 Communists in Taiwan.

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Race in Vietnamese Antiquity

Vietnam writes:

That’s wrong. Viets already looked very mongoloid (flat-faced) before the Chinese invaded their country ~ 2200 years ago. Anthropologists Mongoloid-looking people already appeared in Vietnam ~3800 years ago. After Viets broke free from China, they took Champa and Cambodia and absorded those peoples (less mongoloid-looking peoples).

Viets became much more diverse that you can see today. If you keep tracing back then every country in Asia was not mongoloid looking. Japan only started to looked mongoloid ~2500 whereas. Ainu people were roaming in northern Asia very early…Oldest mongoloid skull found in Asia is only about 7000 years old.

I do not agree with this in whole, but I do agree with it in part.

The Dabut Culture began ca. 8,000 YBP but developed from 5,000-6,500 YBP. This culture was found in the northern part of Middle Vietnam (provinces Nghe An and Ha Tinh). Radiocarbon dating for this culture gives dates from ~3,500-5,000 YBP.
Anthropological studies show that Australoid elements dominate in the skulls of Da But, Con Co Ngua, Quynh Van and Bau Du. They belong to Mongoloid-Australoid or Melanesian race.

Skulls of the Peinan culture on the southeast coast of Taiwan look very much like this and may be related. The Man Bac people were Austronesians. Man Bac skulls are classed as the Ancient SE Asians – the Indonesian race. Recently, a very important burial field of those people was excavated at the Ninh Binh (Northern Vietnam) site of Man Bac. A 14C-dating for this site is 3,530 YBP.

But the first human occupation here could have been as early as 4,000 YBP. It was the age of many late Neolithic, early metal age cultures such as Phung Nguyen, Hoa Loc, Ha Long and Go Ma Vuong. These people were living in real villages. Some of them had already developed an agricultural society as in the case of Phung Nguyen culture. A great deal of rice and rice artifacts were found in the late phase of this culture. They cultivated Oriza Sativa, a large developed type of this grain.

Growing rice established new cultural developments with lots of settlements with rich potsherd layers, many domestic animal bones and rice remains. The non-food productions of pottery, stone tools, and especially jade ornament artifacts showed that a surplus economy in food production had developed. For the Pre-Ðôngsonian culture (2,800-3,500 YBP), many big burial fields in the Delta of Ma River have been excavated.

Pre-Ðôngsonian skulls have strong elements of Australoid, but elements of Mongoloid are clearly increasing – Austronesians. The Quy Chu and Nui Nap people are identified with the Southeast Asian or Indonesian race. Ðôngsonian – or Ðông Son – Culture in Vietnam was regarded as the most developed culture in late prehistory of Vietnam. It began 2,700-2,800 YBP, and ended with the complete occupation by the Han Dynasty in 2,200 YBP.

The Ðông Son culture belonged to the Iron Age and is found mainly in North Vietnam, southward only to Da Nang (18N latitude) and northward to southern Kwangzi and Kwangtung of China. The Ðông Son are Tai. Anthropological research confirms increasing Mongoloid elements in the Ðông Son skulls. However, the Ðông Son peoples belonged to the Indonesian or Ancient Southeast Asian group – a Southern Mongoloid with strong Australoid elements (Cuong, 1996).

In summary, in response to the poster’s comment, I do not agree with him that Vietnamese were full Neomongoloids 3,800 YBP. This is just not correct.

3,800 YBP Vietnamese were part of the Dabut Culture. Dabut people were Mongoloid-Australoid transitionals or Paleomongoloids. Skulls from Man Bac 3,500 YBP show that the Man Bac people were ancient Austronesians possibly from the Peinan Culture in Southeastern Taiwan. These people are classed as the Ancient Southeast Asian Race which is today the Indonesian Race. So 3,500 YBP, Vietnamese looked like Indonesians. This race is a Southeast Mongoloid Race with strong Australoid elements.

From 2,800-3,500 YBP, the Pre-Ðôngsonian Culture existed in Vietnam. These would also be classified as the Indonesian Race, but Mongoloid elements are now increasing over the Australoid. These people were also classed as Austronesians, possibly once again from Taiwan. These would be Taiwanese aborigines.

By 2,200 YBP, there was a huge invasion of Vietnam by the Southern Chinese Han who conquered the entire nation. At this point the transition to modern Vietnamese began. Modern Vietnamese are best seen as a Southeast Mongoloid Race with some Australoid elements. They are probably best seen as Neomongoloids as opposed to Paleomongoloids.

References

Cuong, N.L. 1996. Anthropological Research on Ðôngsonian Skeletons (in Vietnamese). Hanoi.

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Do Chinese People Lack Humanistic or Humanitarian Values?

Commenters are suggesting that Chinese people are ruthless, coldblooded elites who lack humanistic and humanitarian impulses and care nothing about those less well off or lower on the income or class scale than they are.The problem is that this depends on which Chinese we are talking about.

Perhaps this is a good description of the Overseas Chinese of Southeast Asia and surely that is the view of the Taiwanese regime. However, even here, the record was mixed as the Malaysian Chinese for whatever reason were the main supporters of the Malaysian Communist insurgency for many years. The Chinese in the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam tend to be more of the typical ruling class Chinese elites.

However, I knew several Taiwanese people who, while not favorable to Communism, smiled when I told them I was a socialist. “Oh, you are a socialist?” They asked. “Yes,” I said. And then they smiled. So I doubt if Taiwanese are ill-disposed to socialism.

People must also understand that Chinese people lack the individualistic values that Westerners often have. The Chinese are collectivists. Collectivist people tend to be more supportive of things like Communism and socialism.

People must understand that although yes, Chinese do value and money, status and class, the reason for this is not genes or IQ, it is Confucian values. It is a misconception that high IQ people tend to be lacking in empathy.

I do not know about Chinese people, but China is still run by a Communist Party called the CCP. I know quite a bit about this party and it is a lot more commie and socialist than the media or just about anyone else will tell you. They actually believe in the greatest good for the greatest number, something most capitalist countries abandoned long ago. Their policies in China reflect that. All land is owned by the state. There have been proposals to get rid of that, but the CCP wants to keep it in because if they get rid of it then a lot of people will lose their land. They want the rural people to still have land so that if they can’t make it in the city as is often the case, they can always go back to the countryside and farm.

There is little hunger in China. Malnutrition is at about 6%. Minorities can receive education in their native language. Only 6% of the population has no toilet facilities and more or less shits outdoors. Compare that to India with 60% shitting outside. China is a world leader in green technology and solar power in particular.

All education is free through the graduate level. There is no homelessness. Any homeless in big cities are either sent back to their village or put up in homeless shelters. The Chinese government is spending an unbelievable amount of money on upgrading the rural areas. something few capitalist countries will do. They are worried because the conditions out there are not that great and it is resulting in a lot of immigration to the cities.

Fully 45% of the economy is publicly owned by either the state or more commonly local municipalities. How is China a radical laissez-faire free market Libertarian country when the state owns half the economy? All of the public enterprises are still officially owned by the workers. The workers get a check every month for their share of all of the income of the enterprise. The state then deducts 95% of that to plow back into the enterprise. So enterprises that do very well have workers that make very good money.

The #2 leading television manufacturer in the world is a Chinese state firm owned by the workers. It has successfully competed with countless capitalist firms throughout the world and has out-competed almost all of them.

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Polynesians and Amerindians

Found on the Net.

AMERICAN INDIAN HLA GENES ON EASTER ISLAND

Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B 19 March 2012 vol. 367 no. 1590 812-819

The Polynesian Gene Pool: An Early Contribution by Amerindians to Easter Island

Erik Thorsby

Abstract. It is now generally accepted that Polynesia was first settled by peoples from Southeast Asia. An alternative that eastern parts of Polynesia were first inhabited by Amerindians has found little support. There are, however, many indications of a ‘prehistoric’ (i.e. before Polynesia was discovered by Europeans) contact between Polynesia and the Americas, but genetic evidence of a prehistoric Amerindian contribution to the Polynesian gene pool has been lacking.

We recently carried out genomic HLA (human leucocyte antigen) typing as well as typing for mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and Y chromosome markers of blood samples collected in 1971 and 2008 from reputedly non-admixed Easter Islanders. All individuals carried HLA alleles and mtDNA types previously found in Polynesia, and most of the males carried Y chromosome markers of Polynesian origin (a few had European Y chromosome markers), further supporting an initial Polynesian population on Easter Island.

The HLA investigations revealed, however, that some individuals also carried HLA alleles which have previously almost only been found in Amerindians. We could trace the introduction of these Amerindian alleles to before the Peruvian slave trades, i.e. before the 1860s, and provide suggestive evidence that they were introduced already in prehistoric time. Our results demonstrate an early Amerindian contribution to the Polynesian gene pool on Easter Island, and illustrate the usefulness of typing for immunogenetic markers such as HLA to complement mtDNA and Y chromosome analyses in anthropological investigations.

Comment: Erik Thorsby’s study appears to be the first clear documentation of a genetic contribution of Amerindians to Polynesians that happened prior to the Peruvian slave trade in the 19th century. He detected two Amerindian-specific HLA alleles (A02:12 and B39:05) among unadmixed Easter Islanders. These alleles complement the otherwise-typical Polynesian pool of Easter Islanders. It’s unlikely that these alleles were more widespread in Polynesia in the past (as Thor Heyerdahl would want to have it).

Thorsby offers a better explanation: in accordance with the findings of chicken remains with Polynesian mtDNA in El Arenal, Southern Chile and the suggestive evidence of pre-Columbian Polynesian ancestry in Mocha Island, Chile, he writes, “There is strong evidence that Polynesians had been in South America early, i.e. in pre-Columbian time. After having arrived in South America, some of them may have returned to Polynesia, including Easter Island, not only taking the sweet potato and bottle gourd, etc., but also some native Americans with them.”

I agree with the findings of this study. This is correct. Polynesians, the greatest mariners of the Ancient World, seem to have sailed all the way from Easter Island to Southern Chile and then sailed all the way back again. They probably picked up some Amerindians to take back with them along with the tuber and gourd. And it looks like they brought some chickens with them to South America.

Polynesians were the most amazing mariners. They had no modern steering instruments. They steered their ships by the stars!

Their genesis of course is from the Lapita people who originated in Taiwan. These people sailed from Taiwan to the Philippines and from there to Indonesia, New Guinea, Melanesia, Micronesia and then Polynesia.

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Basement and Ceiling Effects in IQ by Group

jm8 writes:

(I would think, if I understand) a genotypic iq of 70 implies a limit of 70 (or thereabout). A group with this genotypic IQ would not be able to raise its iq significantly above it (to 85, 93, or 100).

No. It’s not a limit as in a ceiling. It’s just a basement of floor. If you do not build on that low floor, that is not a good scenario and we can look around the Black world to see the effects of that. But if you build on it, you may be able to push it up pretty high because it started out so low.

No way would an 80 IQ group be so consistently scoring ~70. Look at how many times Blacks all over the place score ~70.

Pure US Blacks in the Deep South regularly score ~70. Scores of ~71-73 are regularly reported in the Caribbean. Many tests in Africa to this very day come back with scores 70 or even lower. A stunning number of tests come back in the 60’s. A group with an IQ profile like that must have a low genotypic IQ – there is no other explanation for all of those low scores. Nothing else makes sense. Look at groups ~80 IQ in Nepal, Qatar, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, and Afghanistan. Do you see them continuously returning scores ~70 or, God forbid, lower? Of course not.

That must be some sort of a genetic set.

I am starting to think that maybe the environment can push IQ or at least an IQ proxy up to a huge degree. It may also be that the lower you start out, the higher you can go. Maybe a 70 IQ group could gain 7-24 IQ points because they had so much “room to grow” so to speak. I am thinking that it might be hard to get a group that is already heavily maxed out like Whites at 100 to go much higher. How much higher do Whites go than 100? 105? Most of the brain may well be used up and there’s just not a whole lot of room for expansion so to speak.

How much higher can Asians go? Their genetic IQ seems to be ~105, but Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong are now at ~111. So they can push it up ~6 points under extreme optimal circumstances. However, Zhejiang Province in China returns IQ scores of 117! Whether there are some fancy genes or a special environment there is not known, but that province has long had stories about harboring the smartest people in China.

So the Oriental IQ can fairly regularly but not commonly be pushed up ~6 points and in rare cases all the way to 12 points. Maybe they tend to limit out at a 6 point raise because they are so high already that there is not a whole lot or room to expand so to speak. Maybe they are already ceilinged out. I think there definitely seems to be a ceiling effect for a lot of groups in terms of IQ. The genotypic IQ is just the basement. You can build on that. It’s a floor. If you want to go higher than that, you probably need to fancy up the environment. But the lower groups may actually have more room to grow than the higher groups who already seem to be more or less reaching the limits of what typical human IQ genes can do.

Think of students coming in to an introductory class about some subject. Blacks have a low basement. So that would mean that Blacks no nothing whatsoever about the subject. This is a problem, but think how much they can learn in the class, especially if they keep on studying that subject. They literally have a world to gain in terms of sheer learning.

Think of Whites and Asians as people coming into the class who have already read the book beforehand, had a tutor the summer before and have been studying the subject on their own for some time (self-taught). How much more can they learn? Obviously the Blacks will have a potential to learn so much more than the Whites and Asians who already know so much about the field that there is not a whole lot left to learn.

Further, keep in mind that the US Black IQ gained 7.5 points since 1920. That gives us a US Black IQ of 77.5 in 1920. I am not sure of the details, but I thought I heard that the White genes had been going into US Blacks at a pretty steady pace as long as they were here. So by 1920, US Blacks may already have been at 12-15+% White. If we figure that White genes add 1 IQ point for each 3-4 points of White admixture, then Blacks of 1920, with IQ’s of 77.5, have already added ~4-5 points due to White admixture of 13.5%.

Which brings us back to a base US Black IQ in 1920 of ~73, which is close to the 70 scores that are regularly returned form relatively pure Blacks in the Deep South and not coincidentally in the Caribbean and Africa.

There is no way to explain a US Black IQ of 77.5 in 1920 in any way other than a pretty low base.

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Filed under Africa, Asia, Asians, Blacks, Caribbean, China, Genetics, Intelligence, Psychology, Race/Ethnicity, Regional, SE Asia, Singapore, South, Taiwan, USA, Whites

A Look at the Tsou Language

Method and Conclusion. See here.

Results. A ratings system was designed in terms of how difficult it would be for an English-language speaker to learn the language. In the case of English, English was judged according to how hard it would be for a non-English speaker to learn the language. Speaking, reading and writing were all considered.

Ratings: Languages are rated 1-6, easiest to hardest. 1 = easiest, 2 = moderately easy to average, 3 = average to moderately difficult, 4 = very difficult, 5 = extremely difficult, 6 = most difficult of all. Ratings are impressionistic.

Time needed. Time needed for an English language speaker to learn the language “reasonably well”: Level 1 languages = 3 months-1 year. Level 2 languages = 6 months-1 year. Level 3 languages = 1-2 years. Level 4 languages = 2 years. Level 5 languages = 3-4 years, but some may take longer. Level 6 languages = more than 4 years.

This post will look at in the Tsou language in terms of how difficult it would be for an English speaker to learn it.

Austro-Tai
Austronesian
Tsouic

Tsou is a Taiwanese aborigine language spoken by about 2,000 people in Taiwan. It has the odd feature whereby the underlying glides y and w turn into or surface as non-syllabic mid vowels and in certain contexts:

jo~joskɨ -> e̯oˈe̯oskɨ  = “fishes”

Tsou is also ergative like most Formosan languages. Tsou is the only language in the world that has no prepositions or anything that looks like a preposition. Instead it uses nouns and verbs in the place of prepositions. Tsou allows more potential consonant clusters than most other languages. About 1/2 of all possible CC clusters are allowed.

Tsou has an inclusive/exclusive distinction in the 1st person plural and a very strange visible and non-visible distinction in the 3rd person singular and plural. Both adjectives and adverbs can turn into verbs and are marked for voice in the same way that verbs are. Verbs are extensively marked for voice. Nouns are marked for a variety of odd cases, often referring to perception, (visible/invisible) person, and place deixis. The place deixis cases can be seen below:

‘e –               visible and near speaker
si/ta –           visible and near hearer
ta –               visible but away from speaker
‘o/to –           invisible and far away, or newly introduced to discourse
na/no ~ ne – non-identifiable and non-referential (often when scanning a class of elements)

Tsou gets a 5 rating, extremely hard to learn.

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Some Notes on the Homeland and Early History of the Tai-Kadai Language Family

A fellow who I believe is Chinese came to the site a while back with some very interesting ideas about the earliest speakers of the Tai-Kadai languages, of which Thai and Lao are the most famous. His statement is in blockquotes below.

He argues for a close relationship between Austronesian and Tai-Kadai, two huge language families in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Tai-Kadai researchers have long opposed this notion, including a professor who I worked with quite a bit while obtaining my Master’s Degree.

French linguist Laurent Sagart has recently proven to my satisfaction that Austronesian and Tai-Kadai are indeed related. I have looked over the evidence, and it looks very good. Sagart is clearly an expert on the language families of the region, including Sino-Tibetan, Tai-Kadai and Austronesian.

However, the field has not yet accepted Austro-Tai. Historical Linguistics has become so conservative in recent years that one wonders whether any new prominent language families will ever be proven to the satisfaction of the field. In this sense, ultra-conservative “scientism” has clearly taken over Diachronic Linguistics, and the only people making any headway these days are the trailblazers who are practicing what boils down to “fringe science” and are expectedly being trashed from here to Kingdom Come for not going along with the ultra-conservative mindset of the day.

The problem is that like cryptozoology, psi, ghosts, UFO’s and so many other fields, ultraconservative people practicing scientism and not science have set up the biggest roadblocks imaginable for dismantling any paradigms or in fact discovering anything new or breathtaking.

Modern science reminds me of the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages. It’s  another faith-based fundamentalist philosophy. I guess we already know everything there is to know, and there’s nothing more to learn. In fact, incredibly, some scientistic practitioners are actually making statements along these lines.

Sagart’s new language would be called Austro-Tai, from which two branches, Tai-Kadai and Austronesian, descended. We know that the homeland of the Austronesians was in Taiwan and on the mainland adjacent to Taiwan possibly 5,000 YBP. From there, they mostly spread to the east – to Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Polynesia, Melanesia and Micronesia, with some going back to Mainland Southeast Asia (most prominently the Malay, but also the Chams, etc.)

That Tai-Kadai and Austronesian were together as a macro-language on and west of Taiwan over 5,000 years ago makes intuitive sense on a lot of levels. They split up, with Tai-Kadai moving west and inland and Austronesian moving out to the islands to the west as the Lapita Culture.

Here it is below, with some edits and additions:

I have some words about the Zhuang to tell you. First of all, your article claims that the Proto-Tai came from Central Asia. That’s a questionable study. The most recent research on linguistics has revealed that the Proto-Tai-Kadai migrated back from Taiwan and they are closely related to the Austronesians.

The basic lexicon between the two branches of Hlai and Kadai in Tai-Kadai language family shows a striking similarity to Austronesian, i.e. Indonesian. However, examining the Tai branch, linguists see that original lexicon in the Tai branch were replaced by some other linguistic stock. That shows a linguistic contact between Proto-Tai and other groups in the ancient times and the genetic mix-up may also have taken place.

In conclusion, according to linguistic studies, the original Tai-Kadai Uhrmeit may have been the Austronesian-inhabited in Taiwan island. Then later, when moving back to the mainland of Southern China, they probably mixed with other ethnolinguistic groups.

It’s also worth mentioning that a trace of old Kam-Tai language from 2-3,000 YBP, an earlier form of Proto-Tai, has been discovered in southern part of the ancient Chu State (1030 BC–223 BC) by comparing the non-Sinitic words on unearthed inscriptions materials with reconstructed Old-Chinese.

This indicates that the geographic distribution of Proto-Tai speakers may have been quite different from our current understanding. And the identity of the group that they mixed with that replaced much of their original Austro-Tai lexicon is still not known. The location of Tai-Kadai speakers, especially the present-day Tai speakers in Yunnan in South China is quite a ways away from the location of most Austronesian speakers such as Malay and Indonesian speakers in Mainland and Island Southeast Asia.

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