Indigenous languages in North America and central Siberia may have stemmed from the same place. Scientists are suggesting that Na-Dene and Yeniseian evolved from a common ancestral population in Beringia, a temporary land bridge that connected Asia and North America about 12,000 years ago. The researchers came to the conclusion after constructing a family tree showing common ancestry based on traits the languages shared. The results, published today in PLOS ONE, add to the growing body of evidence that humans lingered on the land bridge and eventually dispersed out of Beringia.
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