Southern Oceanic languages

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Southern Oceanic
Vanuatu, New Caledonia
Linguistic classification Austronesian
  • Vanuatu (various branches)
  • New Caledonia
Glottolog None
  Southern Oceanic

The Southern Oceanic languages are a linkage of Oceanic spoken in Vanuatu and New Caledonia. It was proposed by Lynch, Ross, and Crowley in 2002 and supported by later analysis. They consider it to be a linkage rather than a language group with a clearly defined internal nested structure.


Lynch (1995) tentatively grouped the languages as follows:[1]

This organization is rather impressionistic. The non-nuclear branches are subsumed under the name Northern Vanuatu, but this is a residual group of languages with no defining features.

Clark (2009) has a slightly different structure for the northern and central languages:

North–Central Vanuatu

The Southern Vanuatu and New Caledonian languages were not addressed.


  1. ^ Lynch, Ross, & Crowley (2002:112)
  • Lynch, John, Malcolm Ross & Terry Crowley. 2002. The Oceanic languages. Richmond, Surrey: Curzon Press.
  • Clark, Ross. 2009. *Leo Tuai: A comparative lexical study of North and Central Vanuatu languages. Canberra ACT.: Pacific Linguistics (Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, The Australian National University).