Comparative phylogenetic analyses uncover the ancient roots of Indo-European folktales

Royal Society open science Vol/Iss. 3(1) The Royal Society Published In Pages: 1-11
By Da Silva, Sara Graça, Tehrani, Jamshid J.


The authors compare language phylogenies and spatial distributions with folktale frequencies of Indo-European peoples in order to reconstruct their cultural transmission. A stronger association is found between folktale frequency and language phylogeny than has been proposed in earlier literature studies, indicating that vertical transmission is more influential on folktale distribution than horizontal transmission through spatial proximity. Finally, the frequencies of certain folktales appear to trace the ancestral divergences of Indo-European languages to a much deeper level than previously though, suggesting that folktales are representative of broader features of culture, rather than recent literary inventions.


Sample Used Coded Data Comment
Aarne Thompson Uther (ATU) IndexResearcher's ownn = 275 'Tales of Magic' from 50 Indo-European-speaking populations

Documents and Hypotheses Filed By:jack.dunnington emily.pitek