April 24, 2014

Svante Pääbo: "Neanderthals Are People, Too"

From the NYT:
Neanderthals Are People, Too 
By SVANTE PAABO      APRIL 24, 2014

Oh, come now, NYT copyediting-and-spelling guidelines. The famous archaeo-geneticist who isolated Neanderthal DNA deserves to have his name spelled with its double umlauts: Svante Pääbo. That's much more metal.*

(I actually have no idea how to pronounce Svante Pääbo, and I don't want to know. It seems more Neanderthal that way.)
The ancient genomes also revealed that Neanderthals and Denisovans mixed with the direct ancestors of present-day people after they came out of Africa. So if your roots are in Europe or Asia, between 1 and 2 percent of your DNA comes from Neanderthals, and if you are from Papua New Guinea or other parts of Oceania, an additional 4 percent of your DNA comes from Denisovans.

------
* In other news:
Ünited Stätes Toughens Image With Umlauts 
NEWS IN BRIEF • Patriotism • Apr 30, 1997 
WASHINGTON, DC—In a move designed to make the United States seem more "bad-assed and scary in a quasi-heavy-metal manner," Congress officially changed the nation's name to the Ünited Stätes of Ämerica Monday. "Much like Mötley Crüe and Motörhead, the Ünited Stätes is not to be messed with," said Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK). An upcoming redesign of the Ämerican flag will feature the new name in burnished silver wrought in a jagged, gothic font and bolted to a black background. 
       

55 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Finnish 'ä' sounds like English 'a' in 'master' to my knowledge.

Anonymous said...

The fact that Asians also have Neanderthal genes appear to come as a huge shock to most folks who hang out at "race realist" sites like Amren.

Every time there is something related to Neaderthals is posted there, a sizable contingent of the closet white supremacists masquerading as white natonalists (why?) over there go into a celebratory frenzy over their special Neaderthal genese giving them special white powers ("creativity!").

No one seems to have the heart to point out to them that East Asians generally have a higher proportion of the said genes than Europeans do.

Anonymous said...

http://www.genetics.org/content/early/2013/02/04/genetics.112.148213.short

Apparently so do the Maasai. They have Neanderthal genes unlike other Africans.

Those guys are some serious lion hunters unlike other blacks who run from lions like cattle. Reputedly their test of initiation into manhood is to go disturb a lion (individually), induce a charge and then to stand ground with a spear. Apparently not all make it.

Or so said one of my Afrikaner hunting buddies who hunted all over Africa.

I was later amused to see a team of them aiding Michael Douglas's character in "The Ghost and the Darkness" a film about the Tsavo man-eating lions.

eah said...

Never met one I didn't like. Yowza.

OT

John Paulson Calls Puerto Rico Singapore of Caribbean

Anonymous said...

http://gothamist.com/2014/04/23/four_arrested_in_williamsburg_beati.php

Anonymous said...

I watched a video in which he was introduced. I assume the man who introduced him knew how to say his same.

The first? Exactly how it looks.

The surname? double a's = pronounced as long a's in English, thus, sounds like Pay-bo (long O sound)

Sorry if this ruins it for you, Steve.

Anonymous said...

"The fact that Asians also have Neanderthal genes appear to come as a huge shock to most folks who hang out at "race realist" sites like Amren.

"Every time there is something related to Neaderthals is posted there, a sizable contingent of the closet white supremacists masquerading as white natonalists (why?) over there go into a celebratory frenzy over their special Neaderthal genese giving them special white powers ("creativity!").

"No one seems to have the heart to point out to them that East Asians generally have a higher proportion of the said genes than Europeans do.
________________________________

Progressives and blacks on tv have been rather giddy over the news that Euros have Neanderthal genes (true, they totally miss the fact that Asians do as well or at least they never mention it), but they seem not to understand that Euros and Asians likely got something of value in the admixture.

stari_momak said...

Okay, so the Onion is usually -- in fact, overwhelmingly -- twee, and never ever threatens the dominant paradigm where it hurts, but sometimes it is really ROTFLMAO funny.

On second thought, they get away with about as much as could be expected these days.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmCjJ0VBjjU

Anonymous said...

I don't want to know

S[ierra] v[ictor] unte[sted] P[apa] [Oh m]a[n!] boo.

There's a short stop between 'Svan' and 'te', and emphasis on 'te'. A Swedish name.

'Pää' is an Estonian word for head, and 'bo' is Swedish for 'estate' or 'homestead', though it seems unlikely the name has that meaning. If it does, there's a short stop between the words (a compund word). It is also possible that Estonians pronounce it as Bo[lívar] and Swedes as a very short boo, without a stop.

PV said...

I posted this over at Cochran's the last time you didn't know how to pronounce his name:

http://sv.forvo.com/word/svante_p%C3%A4%C3%A4bo/

Fwiw, the dots in ä are not umlauts, but the Swedish way of writing a contracted ae. The Danes and Norwegians still write the letter ae.

Chicago said...

A lot of people have cited family lore, usually bogus, in claiming to have a Native American ancestor in an attempt to make themselves look more exotic and less generic. Now they can switch over to claiming partial Neanderthal ancestry which'll make them seem even more ferocious. Let your inner Neanderthal out.

Rainer said...

Fwiw, "Umlaut" is a German linguistic term for the vowels "a","o" or "u" if they were followed by "e" or "i" in the next syllable. In this cases "a" is mostly written as "ä" and has changed its pronunciation from "a" (like in "bath") to "a" (like in "and").

Anonymous said...

It's an Estonian name, so if you didn't learn a Finno-Ugric language as a child, I don't give you good odds on figuring it out now ...

pat said...

A standard PC can produce umlauts as well as the accents ague, grave and circumflex.

I changed my keyboard coding to the 'United States International' one two years ago when I published the complete vocal score of Mozart's Don Giovanni in machine readable form. The Italian text has more accents than you'd think.

The only disadvantage to using this keyboard is that the apostrophe now takes two keystrokes - not just the mark (') but the mark and a space. But I have gotten used to it.

Albertosaurus

Anonymous said...

My roots are in Europe (I'm white) but 98 to 99 percent of me still runs from lions like cattle. Just sayin' ...

Anonymous said...

"The Finnish 'ä' sounds like English 'a' in 'master' to my knowledge."

Actually it sounds more like English 'a' in 'ham'.

Anyway, Pääbo is an Estonian name, but Finnish and Estonian 'ä' are pronounced similarly.

Anonymous said...

Fwiw, the dots in ä are not umlauts, but the Swedish way of writing a contracted ae. The Danes and Norwegians still write the letter ae.

Well, they are umlauts. German ä ö ü also originated as ae oe ue, and old blackletter fonts sometimes have a little "e" above the vowel instead of two dots.

Anonymous said...

Büründï

or

Arvo Pärt ?

Volksverhetzer said...

"Fwiw, the dots in ä are not umlauts, but the Swedish way of writing a contracted ae. The Danes and Norwegians still write the letter ae."

The Nordic languages (including English) have 9 vowels, while Latin only have 6. In reality it is 18 vowels, as there is one short and one long.

The English "solved" this by giving up one letter for each sound, while the Nordics inherited three more letters from runic, Æ Ø Å (nor, dan), Ä Ö Å (swe fin)

When it comes to the long-short vowels, Nor, Swe, Den use double consonant after the vowel to indicate a short vowel, while the Finns use double vowel to indicate a long vowel.

So just by looking at Pääbo's name, one can conclude that he is a Finland-Swede, as a Swede would have written it Päbo, Norwegian and Danes Pæbo.

The last part is not completely true, as I am pretty sure the Farm-name was originally "Per's bo" where Per is short for Peter, and the "bo" is a homestead, so if he had been a "pure"-Swede, it would have been Persbo, and a Norwegian, Persrud, as they don't use the bo-suffix.

Roger said...

It is so strange to say "Neanderthals and Denisovans mixed with the direct ancestors of present-day people". If he is correct, then the Neanderthals and Denisovans themselves are direct ancestors of present-day people.

Anonymous said...

Here you go: about 24 or so seconds into the video, the director of the Neanderthal project at NIH introduces Paabo.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7VdRKQuAa8

a very knowing American said...

Svante Pääbo is too cool a name to waste on just one guy. I expect it will eventually be adopted by a singer or a band, as happened with other too-cool names like Engelbert Humperdinck and Jethro Tull.

Out Of Africa Descendent said...

The 200 traceable individuals who braved the crossing from Djibouti to Aden 70,000 years ago, were running away from Africa. As soon as they got across it looks they mated with a Neanderthal representative (or two).

Humanity outside Africa (subsaharan Africa) is quite clearly a different breed.

James Hedman said...

Whenever I use umlauts on my Mac it automatically changes my character set to "US - International -PC" and then the next time I use an apostrophe for a contraction it instead puts some diacritical mark over the next vowel instead. It's annoying and no I'm not switching to Linux or a Microsoft box just to avoid it.

However it is good to know that all I have to do to pronounce Pääbo correctly is to use a Chicago accent.

Out Of Africa Descendent said...

More Human than Human IMHO

Out Of Africa Descendent said...

This joint is kinda twee.

James Hedman said...

"Fwiw, the dots in ä are not umlauts, but the Swedish way of writing a contracted ae. The Danes and Norwegians still write the letter ae."

So that means in Standard American English it is pronounced "mester" as in "esthetics?" Doesn't seem right somehow.

Southern Man said...

"Much like Mötley Crüe and Motörhead, the Ünited Stätes is not to be messed with," said Sen. James Inhöfe (R-ÖK).

Fixed that for you.

Anonymous said...

Isn't there a jazz player called Pääbo Bryson ?

Anthony said...

Ünited Stätes Toughens Image With Umlauts

Sounds like a better plan than whatever it is that Obama is doing. Just think, though, how much more badass President Öbämä would sound.

Anonymous said...

An upcoming redesign of the Ämerican flag will feature the new name in burnished silver wrought in a jagged, gothic font and bolted to a black background.
Dude! That would be so bitchin!

sunbeam said...

Anonymous wrote:

"The fact that Asians also have Neanderthal genes appear to come as a huge shock to most folks who hang out at "race realist" sites like Amren."

Wow, so what are the real facts about race? What are the biggest things they are wrong about? Also I don't read that site, so you might have to give me the long version.

leftist conservative said...

"Neanderthal" is not the preferred nomenclature.


Neanderthal-American, please....

Anonymous said...

If the Times were referring to a Wise Latina with a last name of Nunez, I'm sure they'd omit the tilde over the second N in Nunez, too.

Anonymous said...

The fact that Asians also have Neanderthal genes appear to come as a huge shock...blah blah blah... East Asians generally have a higher proportion of the said genes than Europeans do.

What utter bollocks.

Anonymous said...

It is so strange to say "Neanderthals and Denisovans mixed with the direct ancestors of present-day people". If he is correct, then the Neanderthals and Denisovans themselves are direct ancestors of present-day people.

It's not strange at all. By "direct ancestors" he means sapiens ancestors.

ben tillman said...


Every time there is something related to Neaderthals is posted there, a sizable contingent of the closet white supremacists masquerading as white natonalists (why?) over there go into a celebratory frenzy over their special Neaderthal genese giving them special white powers ("creativity!").

No one seems to have the heart to point out to them that East Asians generally have a higher proportion of the said genes than Europeans do.


Mendacity quotient = very high.

Nothing like what you described happens at AmRen, there's no reason to think there are lots of closet White supremacists there, and there's no basis for a conclusion that East Asians have more Neanderthal genes.

In fact, the amount of Neanderthal influence can vary greatly from person to person within the same putative race, and the research regarding present-day Neanderthal admixture has hardly even begun.

ben tillman said...

Fwiw, the dots in ä are not umlauts, but the Swedish way of writing a contracted ae.

Just like German. Who knew German didn't have umlauts?

Anonymous said...

So we are the remant of a species that our ancestors almost drove to extinction.

How minority is that shit? Eh?

ben tillman said...

Fwiw, "Umlaut" is a German linguistic term for the vowels "a","o" or "u" if they were followed by "e" or "i" in the next syllable. In this cases "a" is mostly written as "ä" and has changed its pronunciation from "a" (like in "bath") to "a" (like in "and").

The "a" in "bath" and the "a" in "and" are pronounced exactly the same, so I'm not sure what you mean.

ben tillman said...

"It is so strange to say "Neanderthals and Denisovans mixed with the direct ancestors of present-day people". If he is correct, then the Neanderthals and Denisovans themselves are direct ancestors of present-day people."

It's not strange at all. By "direct ancestors" he means sapiens ancestors.


But that's not what "ancestors" means (and all ancestors are "direct"). So, yes, it's strange.

Reg Cæsar said...

The question is not why both As have an umlaut, but why the O does not. The -bo must be a separate word rather than a suffix. Otherwise the rules of vowel harmony would indeed demand the umlaut. Pää means "head" in Finnish (both literally and figuratively) and I'd assume it does in the Pääbos' Estonian as well. I don't see why the -bo would be the Nordic land marker, unless they ran the place for a significant period.

Lots of Finns read this blog; any Estonians?

What makes me suspicious is that Pääbo uses not his father's native (and Nobelist) surname, but his foreign mother's. The only other notable example that comes to mind is Juscelino Kubitschek, Brazil's most successful politician ever. His father was an ultracommon Oliveira.

Reg Cæsar said...

The "a" in "bath" and the "a" in "and" are pronounced exactly the same, so I'm not sure what you mean. --Tillman

That depends on which side of the Pond said bath is situated.

Steve Sailer said...

I did not know that: Svante Pääbo Swedish father, Sune Bergstrom, won the 1982 Nobel Prize in medicine:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sune_Bergstr%C3%B6m

Anonymous said...

Nothing like what you described happens at AmRen, there's no reason to think there are lots of closet White supremacists there, and there's no basis for a conclusion that East Asians have more Neanderthal genes.

No, East Asian generally really do seem to have more similarity to Neanderthals at the moment.

However, this could be due to mixture from a side branch related to Neanderthals, not actually from more Neanderthal related ancestry.

Still, Europeans have different Neanderthal selected variants from Asians and Negritos and New Guineans (see recent lipid catabolism selection evidence), so they may indeed have got "special White powers" from Neanderthals.

Anonymous said...

"Svante Pääbo is too cool a name to waste on just one guy. I expect it will eventually be adopted by a singer or a band, as happened with other too-cool names like Engelbert Humperdinck and Jethro Tull."

Uriah Heep... I bought the album "Very 'eavy, very 'umble" when I was seventeen.

Gilbert P

Anonymous said...

If you read Steve Hsu or Greg Cochran, you'd have known about Svante's father.

Anonymous said...

The "a" in "bath" and the "a" in "and" are pronounced exactly the same, so I'm not sure what you mean.

Sounds like we have some brits here, or speakers of some weird Northeastern dialect. There's a certain class of words that have the "fronted" A sound [æ] in standard American but the "back" A sound [a] or [ɑ] in standard British. "Bath" and "master" are two examples. Words like "and" have [æ] in both dialects.

The letter æ was invented by early mediæval (hey!) scribes to reflect sound changes in late Latin, but early English glommed onto it to distinguish the A in "blæc" (black) from the A in "ban" (bone). The Scandinavian languages took it over, but the English lost it after the Norman Conquest. The Swedes eventually switched to German-style umlauts, possibly to distinguish their language from Danish, and the Finns picked them up from the Swedes.

ben tillman said...

That depends on which side of the Pond said bath is situated.

True, but from the context I inferred he must have been talking about American English. I'm not so sure now; I'm a bit confused by his comment.

ben tillman said...

No, East Asian generally really do seem to have more similarity to Neanderthals at the moment.


At the moment? What do you mean by that?

Anonymous said...

ben tillman:"The "a" in "bath" and the "a" in "and" are pronounced exactly the same, so I'm not sure what you mean."

In RP, the "a" in bath has the phonetic value of the "a" in palm. In General American, in contrast, the "a" in bath has the phonetic value of the "a" in trap.

Anonymous said...

Ben Tillman,

unlike German Swedish don't have umlauts. Well, unless you don't count ü of course but since Swedes pronounce that as a standard y I don't really see the point. There is a reason the Swedish alphabet has 29 letters...

Btw, Svante Pääbo's father is Sune Bergström. See what I did there?

PV said...

"What makes me suspicious is that Pääbo uses not his father's native (and Nobelist) surname, but his foreign mother's."

Svante Pääbo is a bastard. His father's relationship with Pääbo's mother was secret from the father's family with his wife. When his father received the Nobel Prize Pääbo couldn't attend the ceremony in order not to embarrass his father.

Regarding the metal aspects of umlauts and letters like åäö I'd like to point out that metal bands in Scandinavia rarely use them. They're usually considering provincial and therefore not cool.

Anonymous said...

At the moment? What do you mean by that?

Sorry, rephrase to - "No, at the moment (i.e. based on the latest studies), East Asians really do seem to have more similarity to Neanderthals".

Steve Sailer said...

SP could win a Nobel, too, although the Medicine and Physiology category is so large that anything is a long shot, which would be, what, a triumph of nature over nurture?