The Gagauz, a Linguistic Enclave, are not a Genetic Isolate
The Gagauz are a Turkic‐speaking group that migrated from Turkey to their present location in the southern part of the Republic of Moldova about 150 years ago. Surrounded by Indo‐European‐speaking populations, they thus form a linguistic enclave, which raises the following question: to what extent have they remained in genetic isolation from their geographic neighbours? Analyses of mtDNA and Y chromosome variation indicate that despite their linguistic differences, the Gagauz have admixed extensively with neighbouring groups. Our data suggest that there has been more mtDNA than Y chromosome admixture, in keeping with the patrilocal nature of these groups. Moreover, when compared with another linguistic enclave, the Kalmyks there appears to be a correlation between the amount of genetic admixture and the amount of linguistic influence that these two linguistic enclaves have experienced from neighbouring groups.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Department of Evolutionary Genetics, Deutscher Platz 6, D-04103, Leipzig, Germany 2: N.I. Vavilov Institute of General Genetics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Gubkin Street 3, 119991, Moscow, Russia.
Publication date: May 1, 2007