- Oceanic languages
Melanesia, Micronesia, Polynesia Linguistic classification: Austronesian Proto-language: Proto-Oceanic Subdivisions:
The branches of OceanicSt MatthiasWestern Oceanic & Meso-MelanesianTemotuSoutheast SolomonsSouthern OceanicMicronesianThe black ovals at the northwestern limit of Micronesian are the Sunda–Sulawesi languages Palauan and Fijian–PolynesianChamorro. The black circles in with the green are offshore Papuan languages.
The approximately 450 Oceanic languages are a well-established family of Austronesian languages. The area occupied by speakers of these languages includes Polynesia as well as much of Melanesia and Micronesia.
Though covering a vast area, Oceanic languages are spoken by only two million people. The largest individual Oceanic languages are Samoan, with an estimated 370,000 speakers, and Eastern Fijian with over 500,000 speakers. Kiribati (Gilbertese), Tongan, Tahitian, Māori, Western Fijian and Kuanua (Tolai) each have over 100,000 speakers.
The common ancestor which is reconstructed for this group of languages is called Proto-Oceanic (abbr. POc).
The Oceanic languages were first shown to be a language family by Sidney Herbert Ray in 1896, and besides Malayo-Polynesian, they are the only large established family of Austronesian languages. Grammatically, they have been strongly influenced by the Papuan languages of northern New Guinea, but they retain a remarkably large amount of Austronesian vocabulary.
A 2008 analysis of the Austronesian Basic Vocabulary Database fully supported the unity of Oceanic. However, some of the traditional divisions of that family were not supported. There was no support for grouping the Meso-Melanesian languages with the rest of the Western Oceanic languages, while there was moderate support for grouping it with the erstwhile Central Eastern Oceanic branch.
- Western Oceanic (reduced; languages of the north coast of New Guinea, perhaps from as far west as Jayapura, to the eastern tip of New Guinea and western New Britain)
- Admiralty Islands
- Meso-Melanesian (languages of the Bismarck Archipelago and Solomon Islands; only moderately supported as a unit)
- Southern Oceanic (languages of New Caledonia and Vanuatu)
- Central Pacific (Polynesian and the languages of Fiji)
All branches were fully supported by the 2008 analysis except for Meso-Melanesian, which at 82% confidence was only moderately supported as a unit. In addition, there was moderate support for subgrouping the branches of Oceanic:
(84% confidence as a unit)
Fijian–Polynesian (Central Pacific)
Western Oceanic (partial)
- Ray, S.H. (1896). "The common origin of the Oceanic languages". Journal of the Polynesian Society: 58–68.
- Lynch, John; Malcolm Ross; Terry Crowley (2002). The Oceanic languages. Richmond, Surrey: Curzon. ISBN 9780700711284. OCLC 48929366.
- Ross, Malcolm and Åshild Næss (2007). "An Oceanic Origin for Äiwoo, the Language of the Reef Islands?". Oceanic Linguistics 46: 456–498.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Oceanic languages — also called Eastern Austronesian, widespread, highly varied, and controversial language group of the Austronesian language family. Spoken on the islands of Oceania from New Guinea to Hawaii to Easter Island, certain of these languages… … Universalium
Central-Eastern Oceanic languages — Infobox Language family name=Central Eastern Oceanic region=The Pacific familycolor=Austronesian fam2=Malayo Polynesian (MP) fam3=Nuclear MP fam4=Central Eastern MP fam5=Eastern MP fam6=Oceanic child1=Southeast Solomons child2=Southern Oceanic… … Wikipedia
Remote Oceanic languages — Infobox Language family name=Remote Oceanic region=The Pacific familycolor=Austronesian fam2=Malayo Polynesian fam3=Central Eastern Malayo Polynesian fam4=Eastern Malayo Polynesian fam5=Oceanic fam6=Central Eastern Oceanic child1=Central Pacific… … Wikipedia
Western Oceanic languages — Infobox Language family name=Western Oceanic region=Western Pacific familycolor=Austronesian fam2=Malayo Polynesian (MP) fam3=Nuclear MP fam4=Central Eastern MP fam5=Eastern MP fam6=Oceanic child1=North New Guinea child2=Papuan Tip child3=Meso… … Wikipedia
Southern Oceanic languages — Infobox Language family name=Southern Oceanic region=The Pacific familycolor=Austronesian fam2=Malayo Polynesian (MP) fam3=Nuclear MP fam4=Central Eastern MP fam5=Eastern MP fam6=Oceanic fam7=Central Eastern child1=Northern Vanuatu child2=Nuclear … Wikipedia
Oceanic — Contents 1 Ships 2 Businesses 3 Music 4 In fiction … Wikipedia
Languages of Vanuatu — Vanuatu has three official languages, English, French, and Bislama, a creole language evolved from English. Bislama is the first language of many urban ni Vanuatu, that is, the residents of Port Vila and Luganville. It is the most common second… … Wikipedia
Oceanic Linguistics — Abbreviated title (ISO) OL … Wikipedia
Oceanic literature — Introduction the traditional oral and written literatures of the indigenous people of Oceania, in particular of Melanesia, Polynesia, Micronesia, and Australia. While this article addresses the influence of Western literary forms, it does… … Universalium
Oceanic art — Moai at Rano Raraku, Rapa Nui (Easter Island) Oceanic art refers to the creative works made by the native peoples of the Pacific Islands and Australia, including areas as far apart as Hawaii and Easter Island. Specifically it refers to the works… … Wikipedia