Western Malayo-Polynesian languages

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The Western Malayo-Polynesian languages, also known as the Hesperonesian languages, are those Malayo-Polynesian languages that are not in the Central–Eastern branch. Because there are no features that define these languages positively as a group, recent classifications have abandoned it.

Wouk and Ross[edit]

According to Wouk and Ross, those WMP languages within Nuclear Malayo-Polynesian are linked as a genealogical Inner Western Malayo-Polynesian (Inner Hesperonesian) branch; these are the languages of the western Malay Archipelago, which Wouk and Ross propose dispersed from Sulawesi. The rest of WMP, the languages of the Philippines, northern Sulawesi, and the interior of Borneo, do not form a valid group cladistically, but for convenience are lumped together as an Outer WMP (Outer Hesperonesian) group directly under Malayo-Polynesian. Inner and Outer WMP may also be called the Sunda–Sulawesi languages and Borneo–Philippine languages, after their geographic spread.


  • Fay Wouk and Malcolm Ross (ed.). The history and typology of western Austronesian voice systems. Australian National University. 2002.
  • Adelaar, A. & Himmelmann, N. P. (2005). The Austronesian Languages of Asia and Madagascar: A Historical Perspective, pp. 1–42, Routledge Language Family Series. ISBN 0-7007-1286-0