Original paper

Quantitative Digital and Palmar Dermatoglyphics among Sardinian Linguistic Groups

Sanna, Emanuele; Vallascas, Elisabetta; Usai, Elena;Floris, Giovanni


Discriminant analyses of 23 digital and 15 palmar quantitative dermatoglyphic variables of 1364 Sardinians, 689 males and 675 females, were performed to identify biological relationships among five Sardinian linguistic groups of both sexes. By various subsets of dermatoglyphic variables(23 and 20 digital, 15 and 14 palmar, 4 summary traits)MANOVA revealed high intergroup heterogeneity among the groups of both sexes and within each sex. In the latter case the males are an exception when 15 and 14(MLI removed) palmar variables are used. Standard discriminant analysis of the 23 digital variables, i.e.the radial and ulnar ridge counts on each of the 10 fingers plus total finger ridge count(TFRC), absolute finger ridge count(AFRC)and pattern intensity(PI), resulted in imperfect separation of males and females and an unclear picture of the biological relationships among the groups. In contrast, standard discriminant analysis of 20 digital variables(TFRC, AFRC and PI were removed from the analysis)resulted in separation of the sexes and a pattern of relationships among the populations consistent with their ethno-historical backgrounds. Standard discriminant analysis of 15 palmar dermatoglyphic variables failed to provide separation of the sexes and produced a pattern of relationships in disagreement with both the linguistic and ethno-historical backgrounds, even removing MLI(Main Line Index). Standard discriminant analysis of 4 summary dermatoglyphic variables(TFRC,AFRC,PI and MLI)yielded imperfect separation of males and females and an unclear pattern of relationships. By stepwise discriminant analysis with p - 0.01 as F-to-enter and p - 0.05 as F-to-remove, only 4 of the 38 digital and palmar variables were in the model(URC R5, RRC L5, RRC R5, URC R4). The pattern of interpopulation biological relationships was conceptually similar to the one produced by the 20 digital variables. It showed a clear separation of the Gallurian group(both males and females), which speaks an Italian dialect. The properly Sardinian linguistic groups(Campidanian and Logudorian), the Sassarian group(which speaks an Italian dialect)and the Alghero group(which speaks Catalan)were close to one another. This picture agrees with the ethno-historical background rather than with the linguistic one.


Radial-ulnar countspalmar main linesdiscriminant analysisethno-historical backgroundSardinia