Pama–Nyungan grandparent systems change with grandchildren, but not cross-cousin terms or social norms

Evolutionary Human Sciences Vol/Iss. 2 PubMed Central Published In Pages: e30
By Sheard, Catherine, Bowern, Claire, Dockum, Rikker, Jordan, Fiona M.


There were four different terms for grandparents in proto-Pama-Nyungan languages.


The results show that proto-Pama-Nyungan languages have a high probability (P = 0.9996 assuming equal rates, P = 0.9991 assuming symmetric rates) of having four separate terms in their ancestral grandparent system. This was still true with or without the inclusion of rare systems in the analysis.


Test NameSupportSignificanceCoefficientTail
Bayesian phylogenetic mixed modelsSupportedP = 0.9996 / P = 0.9991UNKNOWNUNKNOWN