Nuclear Malayo-Polynesian languages
|South East Asia and the Pacific|
The principal branches of the Nuclear Malayo-Polynesian languages:
Chamorro off-map)Sunda–Sulawesi (
Oceanic (vast majority off-map)
The Nuclear Malayo-Polynesian languages are a branch of the Austronesian family, proposed by Wouk & Ross (2002), that are thought to have dispersed from a possible homeland in Sulawesi. They are called nuclear because they are the conceptual core of the Malayo-Polynesian family, including both Malay and Polynesian. Nuclear Malayo-Polynesian is found throughout Indonesia, apart from central Borneo, Sabah, and the north of Sulawesi, and into Melanesia and the Pacific.
Nuclear Malayo-Polynesian languages are those that have abandoned the Austronesian alignment inherited from proto-Malayo-Polynesian syntax. These include the traditional geographic groupings of Central Malayo-Polynesian, Eastern Malayo-Polynesian, and part of Western Malayo-Polynesian, a part Wouk and Ross call Inner Western Malayo-Polynesian.
Inner Western Malayo-Polynesian (Sunda–Sulawesi) is therefore defined negatively, those languages of Sunda and Sulawesi not included in Central–Eastern Malayo-Polynesian. Central–Eastern is an areal group, divergent from the rest of Malayo-Polynesian due to non-Austronesian (Papuan) substrata rather than due to any genealogical relationship.
There are a number of small clusters of languages whose interrelationship remains uncertain. Grouped by geography, they are:
(Central and southern Sulawesi)
(Greater Sunda Islands)
- Moken (Burmese coast)
- Northwest Sumatran (north-central Sumatra and the Mentawai Islands; Enggano unclear)
- Malayo-Sumbawan (languages of Sumatra, Java, Borneo, and Vietnam, incl. Malay, Sundanese, and Balinese)
- Lampungic (southeastern Sumatra; perhaps with Sundanese)
- Javanese (central and eastern Java)
(Western Pacific islands)
(Moluccas, New Guinea, Oceania)
- Central–Eastern Malayo-Polynesian – See for details
- Fay Wouk and Malcolm Ross (ed.), 2002, The history and typology of western Austronesian voice systems. Australian National University.
- K. Alexander Adelaar and Nikolaus Himmelmann, 2005, The Austronesian languages of Asia and Madagascar. Routledge.
- Austronesian Basic Vocabulary Database