The names of Spain: A study of the isonymy structure of Spain

Authors

  • A. Rodriguez-Larralde,

    1. Department of Biology, University of Ferrara, I-44100 Ferrara, Italy
    2. Laboratory of Human Genetics, Department of Experimental Medicine, IVIC, Caracas, Venezuela
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  • A. Gonzales-Martin,

    1. Department of Biology, University of Ferrara, I-44100 Ferrara, Italy
    2. Area Academica de Historia y Antropologia, Universidad Autonoma del Estado de Hidalgo, Estado de Hidalgo, Mexico
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  • C. Scapoli,

    1. Department of Biology, University of Ferrara, I-44100 Ferrara, Italy
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  • I. Barrai

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Biology, University of Ferrara, I-44100 Ferrara, Italy
    • Department of Biology, University of Ferrara, Via L. Borsari 46, I-44100 Ferrara, Italy
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Abstract

In order to estimate the isonymy structure of Spain, we studied surname distribution in 283 Spanish towns based on 3.625 million telephone users selected from 6.328 million users, downloaded from a commercial CD-ROM which contains all 13 million users in the country. Since in Spain the surname is made by the paternal and the maternal surname, it was possible to classify surnames according to parental origin. Two matrices of isonymy distances, one for paternal and one for maternal surnames, were constructed and tested for correlation with geographic distance. For the whole of Spain, Euclidean distance was significantly but weakly correlated with geographic distance both for paternal and maternal surnames, with r = 0.205 ± 0.013 and r = 0.263 ± 0.012, respectively. Two dendrograms of the 283 sampled towns were built from the two matrices of Euclidean distance. They are largely colinear. Four main clusters identified by the dendrograms are correlated with geography. Given the surname structure of Spain, we were able to calculate from isonymy and for each town 1) total or expressed inbreeding, 2) random or expected inbreeding, and 3) local inbreeding. Total inbreeding, FIT, was highest in the North Atlantic regions and lowest along the Mediterranean Coast. The lowest levels were found in Andalusia, Catalunyia, Valencia, and Navarra. Random inbreeding, FST, had a similar geographical pattern. Local inbreeding, FIS, was relatively uniform in the whole of Spain. In towns, random inbreeding dominates over local inbreeding. From the analysis, it emerges that the northwestern area of Spain is the most inbred. Am J Phys Anthropol, 2003. © 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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