Anne-Maria Fehn (HUMANEVOL, CIBIO-InBIO/UP) | October 20, 2017 - 16h00 | CIBIO-InBIO’s Auditorium, Campus de Vairão



In recent years, the wider region of Southern Africa has received a considerable amount of scientific attention, especially due to its high diversity in peoples, languages and subsistence patterns. The most striking linguistic feature of the area is the presence of click sounds; they are found in languages belonging to the “Khoisan” unit, but have also been transferred to Bantu languages of the region. This talk contextualizes linguistic data with results from human genetics in a multidisciplinary effort to unravel the unwritten history of the area. We find evidence for shifts in language and subsistence patterns that affected not only local hunter-gatherers, but also immigrating groups. In attempting to understand “mismatches” between genes, languages and subsistence patterns, our work provides new and exciting insights into patterns of interaction and exchange on the edges of big migratory movements, such as the Bantu expansion.

Anne-Maria Fehn is a linguist with a special interest in the languages and population history of southern Africa. She holds a Ph.D. in African Studies and currently works as a post-doctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Jena, and the Institute for African Studies at the Goethe University of Frankfurt. She is a member of CIBIO-InBIO's Human Evolution group and currently focuses on combining genetics and linguistics in unraveling the prehistory of southwestern Angola.


[Host: Jorge Rocha, Human Evolutionary Genetics]


Image credits: Valroe at English Wikipedia