16 Facts About Austronesian languages


Austronesian languages are a language family widely spoken throughout Maritime Southeast Asia, Madagascar, the islands of the Pacific Ocean and Taiwan .

FactSnippet No. 634,437

In 1706, the Dutch scholar Adriaan Reland first observed similarities between the Austronesian languages spoken in the Malay Archipelago and by peoples on islands in the Pacific Ocean.

FactSnippet No. 634,438

Many Austronesian languages have very few speakers, but the major Austronesian languages are spoken by tens of millions of people.

FactSnippet No. 634,439

The geographical span of Austronesian languages was the largest of any language family before the spread of Indo-European in the colonial period.

FactSnippet No. 634,440

All Austronesian languages spoken outside Taiwan belong to the Malayo-Polynesian branch.

FactSnippet No. 634,441

Austronesian languages overall possess phoneme inventories which are smaller than the world average.

FactSnippet No. 634,442

Exceptional cases of tonal Austronesian languages are Moklen and a few Austronesian languages of the Chamic, South Halmahera–West New Guinea and New Caledonian subgroups.

FactSnippet No. 634,443

Austronesian languages posited 40 first-order subgroups, with the highest degree of diversity found in the area of Melanesia.

FactSnippet No. 634,444

The Oceanic Austronesian languages are not recognized, but are distributed over more than 30 of his proposed first-order subgroups.

FactSnippet No. 634,445

Subsequently, the position of the Formosan languages as the most archaic group of Austronesian languages was recognized by Otto Christian Dahl, followed by proposals from other scholars that the Formosan languages actually make up more than one first-order subgroup of Austronesian.

FactSnippet No. 634,446

The view that linguistic evidence connects Austronesian languages to the Sino-Tibetan ones, as proposed for example by Sagart, is a minority one.

FactSnippet No. 634,447

Linguistic analysis of the Proto-Austronesian languages language stops at the western shores of Taiwan; any related mainland language have not survived.

FactSnippet No. 634,448

French linguist and Sinologist Laurent Sagart considers the Austronesian languages to be related to the Sino-Tibetan languages, and groups the Kra–Dai languages as more closely related to the Malayo-Polynesian languages.

FactSnippet No. 634,449

Sagart argues for a north-south genetic relationship between Chinese and Austronesian languages, based on sound correspondences in the basic vocabulary and morphological parallels.

FactSnippet No. 634,450

Austronesian languages's methodology has been found to be spurious by his peers.

FactSnippet No. 634,451

Austronesian languages's identifies 82 possible cognates between Austronesian and Japanese, however her theory remains very controversial.

FactSnippet No. 634,452