Languages of Oceania

Native languages of Oceania fall into three major geographic groups:

Contact between Austronesian and Papuan resulted in several instances in mixed languages such as Maisin.

Colonial languages include English in Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, and many other territories; French in New Caledonia and French Polynesia, Japanese in the Bonin Islands, Spanish on Easter Island.

There are also Creoles formed from the interaction of Malay or the colonial languages with indigenous languages, such as Tok Pisin, Bislama, Pijin, various Malay trade and creole languages, Hawaiian Pidgin, Norfuk, and Pitkern.

Finally, immigrants brought their own languages, such as Mandarin, Italian, Arabic, Cantonese, Greek and others in Australia,[1] or Fiji Hindi in Fiji.

Oceanic languages

See also


  1. ^
Alo-Teqel language

Alo Teqel is an extinct language of Vanua Lava, in Vanuatu.

Aore language

Aore is a recently extinct Oceanic language spoken on Aore Island, just off Espiritu Santo Island in Vanuatu.

Aveteian language

Aveteian is a possibly extinct language of Vanuatu, presumably one of the Malekula Interior languages. In the early twentieth century it was spoken by a few families living to the north of Ninde.

Haeke language

Haeke (’Aeke) is a divergent and nearly extinct indigenous language of New Caledonia, in the commune of Koné.

Hulung language

Hulung is an extinct Austronesian language of Seram in the Maluku archipelago of Indonesia.

Kamarian language

Kamarian is an extinct Austronesian spoken in the Moluccas in eastern Indonesia.

Languages of Norfolk Island

There are two official languages of Norfolk Island, English and Norfuk. English, due to the influence of Great Britain and Australia, the two colonial powers who administered Norfolk Island, is the dominant language of the pair. Norfuk, a creole language based on English and Tahitian and brought to the island by the descendants of the Bounty mutineers from Pitcairn Island was spoken by 580 persons according to the 1989 census. It is closely related to Pitkern spoken on Pitcairn Island.

Languages of the Pitcairn Islands

There are two languages of the Pitcairn Islands, English and Pitkern.

Pitkern is a creole language based on eighteenth-century English and Tahitian and spoken by about fifty people inland not to mention those outside Adamstown, mostly dozens of children leaving Pitcairn while becoming adults. It is partly derived from eighteenth-century English because Pitcairn Island was settled by the Bounty mutineers in the eighteenth century, and they brought some people from Taihiti with them.

Pitkern is closely related to Norfuk spoken on Norfolk Island, where some descendants of the mutineers subsequently settled.

Loun language

The Loun language is an extinct Austronesian language once spoken in Indonesia, mainly in the Maluku archipelago.

Moksela language

Moksela is an extinct and unattested language spoken in the Sula Islands of North Maluku province in Indonesia. Based on its location, it was presumably Malayo-Polynesian of the Central Maluku branch.

Navwien language

Navwien is a possibly extinct language of Vanuatu, presumably one of the Malekula Interior languages. It was spoken in the southwestern corner of Malekula, near Malfaxal.

Oceanic languages

The approximately 450 Oceanic languages are a well-established branch of the 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 Eastern Fijian with over 600,000 speakers, and Samoan with an estimated 400,000 speakers. The Kiribati (Gilbertese), Tongan, Tahitian, Māori, Western Fijian and Kuanua (Tolai) languages each have over 100,000 speakers.

The common ancestor which is reconstructed for this group of languages is called Proto-Oceanic (abbr. "POc").

Olrat language

Olrat is a moribund Oceanic language spoken on Gaua island in Vanuatu.

Saponi language

Saponi is an extinct Papuan language of Indonesia. It shared half of its basic vocabulary with the Rasawa language, but it's not clear that they were related. Saponi shared none of its pronouns with the Lakes Plain family that Rasawa is part of; indeed its basic pronouns mamire "I, we" and ba "thou" are reminiscent of proto–East Bird's Head *meme "we" and *ba "thou".

Sorung language

Sorung is an extinct language of the island Erromango in Vanuatu. It has sometimes been classified as a dialect of Sie.

Sörsörian language

Sörsörian is a possibly extinct language of Vanuatu, presumably one of the Malekula Interior languages.

Tandia language

Tandia is a nearly extinct Austronesian language in the putative Cenderawasih (Geelvink Bay) family of Indonesian Papua. Most speakers have shifted to Wandamen. There are only two speakers of Tandia in the world and they both live just south of the Wohsimi River on the Wandamen Peninsula, Irian Jaya Province, Indonesia

Utaha language

Utaha, also known as Ifo, is an extinct language of the island Erromango in Vanuatu.

Zazao language

Zazao is an Oceanic language spoken in the Solomon Islands. Its speakers live on Santa Isabel Island. It is considered nearly extinct, and its speakers also use the Cheke Holo language or the Zabana language.

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