Western Malayo-Polynesian languages

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

Wouk and Ross[edit]

According Wouk & 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 & 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, Alexander, The Austronesian Languages of Asia and Madagascar: A Historical Perspective, The Austronesian Languages of Asia and Madagascar, pp. 1-42, Routledge Language Family Series, Londres: Routledge, 2005. ISBN 0-7007-1286-0