Inference of Demographic History Using Joint Genetic and Linguistic Analyses in Cape Verde
Major human migrations during the last several hundred years have generated new populations of mixed European and African ancestry. The Cape Verde archipelago, located near the western coast of Africa, provides one of the earliest examples of this admixture phenomenon, with a complex and well-documented history of contact among European and African populations beginning in the late 15th century. As its multiple islands provide a natural experiment involving related but different admixture histories, Cape Verde provides an excellent setting for studying the sociocultural and linguistic factors that influence linguistic, cultural, and genetic admixture among populations. The genomes of present-day Cape Verdeans carry information about the demographic history of the islands, and genomic information can be used to complement historical records to obtain a more precise understanding of historical admixture processes in the archipelago. Through a collaboration between geneticists at Stanford University and biological anthropologists at the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle (MNHN) in Paris, we will generate a data set that can be used to study the genetic and linguistic admixture history of Cape Verde. We will analyze these data to understand the factors that influence genetic, linguistic, and cultural hybridization on Cape Verde, and in human populations more generally.