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Ethnicity "Austronesian peoples
"Maritime and parts of "Mainland Southeast Asia, "Oceania, "Sri Lanka, "Taiwan, "Andaman archipelago and parts of "Hainan and "Madagascar
"Linguistic classification One of the world's primary "language families
Proto-language "Proto-Austronesian
"ISO 639-2 / "5 map
"Glottolog aust1307[1]
Distribution of Austronesian languages

The Austronesian languages are a "language family that is widely dispersed throughout "Maritime Southeast Asia, "Madagascar and the islands of the "Pacific Ocean, with a few members in continental "Asia.[2] Austronesian languages are spoken by about 386 million people (4.9%), making it the fourth-largest language family by number of speakers, behind the "Indo-European languages (46.3%), the "Sino-Tibetan languages (20.4%), and the "Niger-Congo languages (6.9%). Major Austronesian languages with the highest number of speakers are "Malay ("Indonesian and "Malaysian), "Javanese, and "Filipino ("Tagalog). The family contains 1,257 languages, which is the second most of any language family.[3]

Similarities between the languages spoken in the "Malay Archipelago and the "Pacific Ocean were first observed in 1706 by the Dutch scholar "Adriaan Reland.[4] In the 19th century, researchers (e.g. "Wilhelm von Humboldt, "Herman van der Tuuk) started to apply the "comparative method to the Austronesian languages, but the first comprehensive and extensive study on the phonological history of the Austronesian language family including a reconstruction of "Proto-Austronesian lexicon was made by the German linguist "Otto Dempwolff.[5] The term Austronesian itself was coined by "Wilhelm Schmidt (German austronesisch, based on "Latin auster "south wind" and "Greek νῆσος "island").[6] The family is aptly named, as the vast majority of Austronesian languages are spoken on islands: only a few languages, such as "Malay and the "Chamic languages, are "indigenous to mainland Asia. Many Austronesian languages have very few speakers, but the major Austronesian languages are spoken by tens of millions of people and one Austronesian language, Malay (including both Indonesian and Malaysian variants), is spoken by 250 million people, making it the 8th most spoken language in the world. Approximately twenty Austronesian languages are "official in their respective countries (see the "list of major and official Austronesian languages).

Different sources count languages differently, but Austronesian and Niger–Congo are the two largest language families in the world by the number of languages they contain, each having roughly one-fifth of the total languages counted in the world. The geographical span of Austronesian was the largest of any language family before the spread of Indo-European in the colonial period, ranging from "Madagascar off the southeastern coast of Africa to "Easter Island in the eastern Pacific. "Hawaiian, "Rapa Nui, and "Malagasy (spoken on Madagascar) are the geographic outliers of the Austronesian family.

According to "Robert Blust (1999), Austronesian is divided in several primary branches, all but one of which are found exclusively on "Taiwan. The "Formosan languages of Taiwan are grouped into as many as nine first-order subgroups of Austronesian. All Austronesian languages spoken outside Taiwan (including its offshore "Yami language) belong to the "Malayo-Polynesian branch, sometimes called Extra-Formosan.

Most Austronesian languages lack a long history of written attestation, making the feat of reconstructing earlier stages – up to distant Proto-Austronesian – all the more remarkable. The oldest inscription in the "Cham language, the "Đông Yên Châu inscription, but with the influence of "Indo-European languages, dated to the mid-6th century AD at the latest, is also the first attestation of any Austronesian language.



Banknote for 5 dollars, Hawaii, circa 1839, using "Hawaiian language

It is difficult to make generalizations about the languages that make up a family as diverse as Austronesian. Very broadly, one can divide the Austronesian languages into three groups: Philippine-type languages, Indonesian-type languages and post-Indonesian type languages (Ross 2002):

The Austronesian languages tend to use "reduplication (repetition of all or part of a word, as in "wiki-wiki or "agar-agar). Like many "East and "Southeast Asian languages, most Austronesian languages have highly restrictive "phonotactics, with generally small numbers of "phonemes and predominantly consonant–vowel syllables.


The Austronesian language family has been established by the linguistic comparative method on the basis of "cognate sets, sets of words similar in sound and meaning which can be shown to be descended from the same ancestral word in "Proto-Austronesian according to regular rules. Some cognate sets are very stable. The word for eye in many Austronesian languages is mata (from the most northerly Austronesian languages, "Formosan languages such as "Bunun and "Amis all the way south to "Māori). Other words are harder to reconstruct. The word for two is also stable, in that it appears over the entire range of the Austronesian family, but the forms (e.g. "Bunun dusa; "Amis tusa; Māori rua) require some linguistic expertise to recognise. The Austronesian Basic Vocabulary Database gives word lists (coded for cognateness) for approximately 1000 Austronesian languages.


The internal structure of the Austronesian languages is complex. The family consists of many similar and closely related languages with large numbers of "dialect continua, making it difficult to recognize boundaries between branches. However, it is clear that the greatest genealogical diversity is found among the "Formosan languages of Taiwan, and the least diversity among the islands of the Pacific, supporting a dispersal of the family from Taiwan or China. The first comprehensive classification to reflect this was Dyen (1965).

The seminal article in the classification of Formosan—and, by extension, the top-level structure of Austronesian—is Blust (1999). Prominent Formosanists (linguists who specialize in Formosan languages) take issue with some of its details, but it remains the point of reference for current linguistic analyses, and is shown below. The Malayo-Polynesian languages are frequently included within Blust's "Eastern Formosan branch due to their shared leveling of proto-Austronesian *t, *C to /t/ and *n, *N to /n/, their shift of *S to /h/, and vocabulary such as *lima "five" which are not attested in other Formosan languages.

There appear to have been two great migrations of Austronesian languages that quickly covered large areas, resulting in multiple local groups with little large-scale structure. The first was Malayo-Polynesian, distributed across the Philippines, Indonesia, and Melanesia. The "Central Malayo-Polynesian languages are similar to each other not because of close genealogical relationships, but rather because they reflect strong "substratum effects from "non-Austronesian languages. The second migration was that of the "Oceanic languages into Polynesia and Micronesia (Greenhill, Blust & Gray 2008).

In addition to "Malayo-Polynesian, thirteen "Formosan families are broadly accepted. Debate centers primarily around the relationships between these families. Of the classifications presented here, Blust (1999) links two families into a Western Plains group, two more in a Northwestern Formosan group, and three into an Eastern Formosan group, while Lee (2008)["citation not found] also links five families into a Northern Formosan group. The Austronesian Basic Vocabulary Database (2008) accepts Northern, rejects Eastern, links "Tsouic and "Rukai (two highly divergent languages), and links Malayo-Polynesian with "Paiwan in a Paiwanic group. Ross (2009) splits Tsouic, and notes that Tsou, Rukai, and Puyuma fall outside of reconstructions of Proto-Austronesian.

Other studies have presented phonological evidence for a reduced Paiwanic family of "Paiwanic, Puyuma, Bunun, Amis, and Malayo-Polynesian, but this is not reflected in vocabulary. The Eastern Formosan peoples Basay, Kavalan, and Amis share a homeland motif that has them coming originally from an island called Sinasay or Sanasay (Li 2004). The Amis, in particular, maintain that they came from the east, and were treated by the Puyuma, amongst whom they settled, as a subservient group (Taylor 1888).[9]

Blust (1999)[edit]

Families of Formosan languages before Minnanese colonization of Taiwan, per Blust (1999)
Distribution of the Austronesian languages, per Blust (1999)

(clockwise from the southwest)

  "Tsouic ("Formosan)
  Western Plains ("Formosan)
  Northwest Formosan
  "Atayalic ("Formosan)
  "East Formosan
  "Bunun language ("Formosan)
  "Rukai language ("Formosan)
  "Puyuma language ("Formosan)
  "Paiwan language (southern tip of Formosa)

Li (2008)[edit]

Families of Formosan languages before Minnanese colonization, per Li (2008). The three languages in green (Bunun, Puyuma, Paiwan) may form a Southern Formosan branch, but this is uncertain.

This classification retains Blust's East Formosan, and unites the other northern languages. "Li proposes a Proto-Formosan (F0) ancestor and equates it with "Proto-Austronesian (PAN), following the model in Starosta (1995).[10][11] Rukai and Tsouic are seen as highly divergent,[10] although the position of Rukai is highly controversial.[12]

Austronesian Basic Vocabulary Database (2008)[edit]

Families of Formosan languages before Minnanese colonization, per the Austronesian Basic Vocabulary Database (Greenhill, Blust & Gray 2008).

This investigation keeps "Li's "Northern Formosan, but breaks up Blust's East Formosan, and suggests Paiwan may be the closest to Malayo-Polynesian. It also unites "Tsouic and "Rukai, the two most divergent languages in Li.


This is an obvious, low-level grouping

  "Northern Formosan

These groups are linked with an estimated 97% probability.


Another low-level grouping


Tsou and Rukai are connected with moderate confidence, estimated at 85% probability.


Malayo-Polynesian and Paiwan are linked with a low level of confidence (74%).

Ross (2009)[edit]

Families of Formosan languages before Minnanese colonization, per Ross (2009).

In 2009, "Malcolm Ross proposed a new classification of the Austronesian language family based on morphological evidence from various Formosan languages.[13] He proposed that the current reconstructions for Proto-Austronesian actually correspond to an intermediate stage, which he terms "Proto-Nuclear Austronesian". Notably, Ross' classification does not support the unity of the "Tsouic languages, instead considering the Southern Tsouic languages of Kanakanavu and Saaroa to be a separate branch. This supports Chang's (2006) claim that Tsouic is not a valid group.[14]

  Nuclear Austronesian

Major languages[edit]

Comparison chart[edit]

Below is a chart "comparing list of numbers of 1-10 and thirteen words in Austronesian languages; spoken in "Taiwan, the "Philippines, the "Mariana Islands, "Indonesia, "Malaysia, "Chams or "Champa (in "Thailand, "Cambodia, and "Vietnam), "East Timor, "Papua, "New Zealand, "Hawaii, "Madagascar, "Borneo and "Tuvalu.

Comparison chart-numerals[edit]

"Austronesian List of Numbers 1-10 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
"Proto-Austronesian *əsa
*duSa *təlu *Səpat *lima *ənəm *pitu *walu *Siwa *(sa-)puluq
"Formosan languages 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
"Amis cecay tosa tolo spat lima enem pito falo siwa mo^tep
"Atayal qutux sazing cyugal payat magal mtzyu mpitu mspat mqeru mopuw
"Paiwan ita drusa tjelu sepatj lima enem pitju alu siva tapuluq
"Bunun tasʔa dusa tau paat hima nuum pitu vau siva masʔan
"Puyuma isa zuwa telu pat lima unem pitu walu iwa pulu'
"Rukai itha drusa tulru supate lrima eneme pitu valru bangate pulruku
"Tsou coni yuso tuyu sʉptʉ eimo nomʉ pitu voyu sio maskʉ
"Saisiyat 'aeihae' roSa' to:lo' Sopat haseb SayboSi: SayboSi: 'aeihae' maykaSpat hae'hae' lampez
"Yami asa dora atlo apat lima anem pito wao siyam poo
"Thao taha tusha turu shpat tarima katuru pitu kashpat tanathu makthin
"Kavalan usiq uzusa utulu uspat ulima unem upitu uwalu usiwa rabtin
"Truku kingal dha tru spat rima mataru empitu maspat mngari maxal
"Sakizaya cacay tosa tolo sepat lima enem pito walo siwa cacay a bataan
"Seediq kingal daha teru sepac rima mmteru mpitu mmsepac mngari maxal
"Malayo-Polynesian languages 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
"Proto-Malayo-Polynesian *əsa
*duha *təlu *əpat *lima *ənəm *pitu *walu *siwa *puluq
"Nuclear Malayo-Polynesian (MP) languages 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
"Sunda–Sulawesi languages 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
"Acehnese sifar
sa duwa lhee peuet limong nam tujoh lapan sikureueng siploh
""Bali 0.png

""Bali 1.png

""Bali 2-vowel La lenga.png

""Bali 3-vowel O.png

""Bali 4.png

""Bali 5.png

""Bali 6-vowel E kara.png

""Bali 7.png

""Bali 8, Pha.png

""Bali 9.png

"Banjar asa dua talu ampat lima anam pitu walu sanga sapuluh
"Batak, Toba sada dua tolu opat lima onom pitu ualu sia sampulu
"Buginese ceddi dua tellu empa lima enneng pitu arua asera seppulo
"Cia-Cia 디세
"Cham sa dua klau pak lima nam tujuh dalapan salapan sapluh
"Javanese (Kawi)b[15] sunya ""Angka 1.png
""Angka 2.png
""Angka 3.png
""Angka 4.png
""Angka 5.png
""Angka 6.png
""Angka 7.png
""Angka 8.png
""Angka 9.png
"Old Javanese[16] das sa
(sa' / sak)
rwa tĕlu pāt lima nĕm pitu walu sanga sapuluh
"Javanese (Krama) nol setunggal kalih tiga sekawan gangsal enem pitu wolu sanga sedasa
"Javanese (Ngoko)[17] nol siji loro telu papat lima enem pitu wolu sanga sepuluh
"Kelantan-Pattani kosong so duwo tigo pak limo ne tujoh lape smile spuloh
"Madurese nol settong dhuwa' tello' empa' lema' ennem petto' ballu' sanga' sapolo
"Makassarese ᨒᨚᨅ
"Standard Malay
(both "Indonesian and "Malaysian)
dua tiga[21][22] empat lima[23] enam tujuh delapan
sembilan sepuluh
"Minangkabau[25] ciek duo tigo ampek limo anam tujuah salapan sambilan sapuluah
"Moken cha:? thuwa:? teloj
pa:t lema:? nam luɟuːk waloj
(cʰɛwaːy / sɛwaːy)
"Sasak sekek due telo empat lime enam pituk baluk siwak sepulu
"Sundanese ᮔᮧᮜ᮪
"Terengganu Malay kosong se duwe tige pak lime nang tujoh lapang smilang spuloh
"Tetun nol ida rua tolu hat lima nen hitu ualu sia sanulu
"Tsat (HuiHui)c sa³³ *,
ta¹¹ **
tʰua¹¹ kiə³³ pa²⁴ ma³³ naːn³² su⁵⁵ paːn³² tʰu¹ paːn³² piu⁵⁵
There are two forms for numbers '"one' in "Tsat (Hui Hui; Hainan Cham) :
^* The word sa³³ is used for serial counting.
^** The word ta¹¹ is used with hundreds and thousands and before qualifiers.
"Borneo–Philippine languages 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
"Ilocano ibbong
maysa dua tallo uppat lima innem pito walo siam sangapulo
"Ibanag awan tadday duwa tallu appa' lima annam pitu walu siyam mafulu
"Pangasinan sakey duwa talo apat lima anem pito walo siyam samplo
"Kapampangan ala metung/ isa' adua atlu apat lima anam pitu walu siyam apulu
"Tagalog ᜏᜎ
"Bikol wara sarô duwá tuló apat limá anom pitó waló siyám sampulû
"Aklanon uwa isaea
daywa tatlo ap-at lima an-om pito waeo siyam napueo
"Karay-a wara (i)sara darwa tatlo apat lima anəm pito walo siyam napulo
"Onhan isya darwa tatlo upat lima an-om pito walo siyam sampulo
"Romblomanon isa duha tuyo upat lima onum pito wayo siyam napuyo
"Masbatenyo isad
tulo upat lima unom pito walo siyam napulo
"Hiligaynon wala isa duha tatlo apat lima anom pito walo siyam napulo
"Cebuano wala usa duha tulo upat lima unom pito walo siyam napulo
"Waray waray usa duha tulo upat lima unom pito walo siyam napulò
"Tausug isa duwa upat lima unum pitu walu siyam hangpu'
"Maranao isa dua telu pat lima nem pitu ualu siau sapulu'
"Benuaq (Dayak Benuaq) eray duaq toluu opaat limaq jawatn turu walo sie sepuluh
"Lun Bawang/ Lundayeh na luk dih eceh dueh teluh epat limeh enem tudu' waluh liwa' pulu'
"Dusun aiso iso duo tolu apat limo onom turu walu siam hopod
"Malagasy aotra isa
roa telo efatra dimy enina fito valo sivy folo
"Sangirese (Sangir-Minahasan) sembau darua tatelu epa lima eneng pitu walu sio mapulo
"Oceanic languagesd 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
"Fijian saiva dua rua tolu vaa lima ono vitu walu ciwa tini
"Hawaiian 'ole 'e-kahi 'e-lua 'e-kolu 'e-hā 'e-lima 'e-ono 'e-hiku 'e-walu 'e-iwa 'umi
"Kiribati akea teuana uoua tenua aua nimaua onoua itua wanua ruaiwa tebwina
"Māori kore tahi rua toru whā rima ono whitu waru iwa tekau
"Marshallese[26] o̧o juon ruo jilu emān ļalem jiljino jimjuon ralitōk ratimjuon jon̄oul
"Motue[27] ta rua toi hani ima tauratoi hitu taurahani taurahani-ta gwauta
"Niuean nakai taha ua tolu fa lima ono fitu valu hiva hogofulu
"Rapanui tahi rua toru rima ono hitu va'u iva angahuru
"Rarotongan Māori kare ta'i rua toru rima ono 'itu varu iva nga'uru
"Rotuman ta rua folu hake lima ono hifu vạlu siva saghulu
"Sāmoan o tasi lua tolu fa lima ono fitu valu iva sefulu
o kasi lua kolu fa lima ogo fiku valu iva sefulu
"Tahitian hō'ē
piti toru maha pae ōno hitu va'u iva hō'ē 'ahuru
"Tongan noa taha ua tolu fa nima ono fitu valu hiva hongofulu
taha noa
"Trukese eet érúúw één fáán niim woon fúús waan ttiw engoon
"Tuvaluan tahi
lua tolu fa lima ono fitu valu iva sefulu

Comparison chart-thirteen words[edit]

English one two three four person house dog road day new we what fire
"Proto-Austronesian *əsa, *isa *duSa *təlu *əpat *Cau *balay, *Rumaq *asu *zalan *qaləjaw, *waRi *baqəRu *kita, *kami *anu, *apa *Sapuy
"Tetum ida rua tolu haat ema uma asu dalan loron foun ita saida ahi
"Amis cecay tosa tolo sepat tamdaw luma wacu lalan cidal faroh kita uman namal
"Puyuma sa dua telu pat taw rumah soan dalan wari vekar mi amanai apue,
"Tagalog isa dalawa tatlo apat tao bahay aso daan araw bago tayo / kami ano apoy
"Bikol sarô duwá tuló apat táwo harong áyam dálan aldaw bâgo kitá anó kalayó
"Rinconada Bikol əsad darwā tolō əpat tawō baləy ayam raran aldəw bāgo kitā onō kalayō
"Waray usa duha tulo upat tawo balay ayam,
dalan adlaw bag-o kita anu kalayo
"Cebuano usa,
duha tulo upat tawo balay iro dalan adlaw bag-o kita unsa kalayo
"Hiligaynon isa duha tatlo apat tawo balay ido dalan adlaw bag-o kita ano kalayo
"Aklanon isaea,
daywa tatlo ap-at tawo baeay ayam daean adlaw bag-o kita ano kaeayo
"Kinaray-a (i)sara darwa tatlo apat tawo balay ayam dalan adlaw bag-o kita ano kalayo
"Tausug hambuuk duwa tu upat tau bay iru' dan adlaw ba-gu kitaniyu unu kayu
"Maranao isa dowa t'lo phat taw walay aso lalan gawi'e bago tano tonaa apoy
"Kapampangan metung adwa atlu apat tau bale asu dalan aldo bayu ikatamu nanu api
"Pangasinan sakey dua,
too abong aso dalan ageo balo sikatayo anto pool
"Ilokano maysa dua tallo uppat tao balay aso dalan aldaw baro datayo ania apoy
"Ivatan asa dadowa tatdo apat tao vahay chito rarahan araw va-yo yaten ango apoy
"Ibanag tadday dua tallu appa' tolay balay kitu dalan aggaw bagu sittam anni afi
"Yogad tata addu tallu appat tolay binalay atu daddaman agaw bagu sikitam gani afuy
"Gaddang antet addwa tallo appat tolay balay atu dallan aw bawu ikkanetam sanenay afuy
"Tboli sotu lewu tlu fat tau gunu ohu lan kdaw lomi tekuy tedu ofih
"Lun Bawang/ Lundayeh eceh dueh teluh epat lemulun/lun ruma' uko' dalan eco beruh teu enun apui


dua tiga[28] empat orang rumah,
anjing jalan hari baru kita apa,
"Old Javanese esa,
wwang umah asu dalan dina hañar, añar[30] kami[31] apa,
"Javanese siji,
awaké dhéwé,
kula panjenengan[32]
"Sundanese hiji dua tilu opat urang imah anjing jalan poe anyar,
arurang naon seuneu
"Acehnese sa duwa lhèë peuët ureuëng rumoh,
asèë röt uroë barô (geu)tanyoë peuë apui
"Minangkabau ciek duo tigo ampek urang rumah anjiang labuah,
hari baru awak apo api
"Lampungese sai khua telu pak jelema lamban kaci ranlaya khani baru kham api apui
"Buginese se'di dua tellu eppa' tau bola asu laleng esso baru idi' aga api
"Temuan satuk duak tigak empat uwang,
jalan aik,
bahauk kitak apak apik
"Toba Batak sada dua tolu opat halak jabu biang dalan ari baru hita aha api
"Kelantan-Pattani so duwo tigo pak oghe ghumoh,
anjing jale aghi baghu kito gapo api
"Chamorro håcha,
hugua tulu fatfat taotao/tautau guma' ga'lågu[33] chålan ha'åni nuebu[34] hita håfa guåfi
"Motu ta,
rua toi hani tau ruma sisia dala dina matamata ita,
dahaka lahi
"Māori tahi rua toru whā tangata whare kurī ara hou tāua, tātou/tātau
māua, mātou/mātau
aha ahi
"Tuvaluan tasi lua tolu toko fale kuli ala,
aso fou tāua a afi
"Hawaiian kahi lua kolu kanaka hale 'īlio ala ao hou kākou aha ahi
"Banjarese asa duwa talu ampat urang rūmah hadupan heko hǎri hanyar kami apa api
"Malagasy isa roa telo efatra olona trano alika lalana andro vaovao isika inona afo
"Dusun iso duo tolu apat tulun walai,
tasu ralan tadau wagu tokou onu/nu tapui
"Kadazan iso duvo tohu apat tuhun hamin tasu lahan tadau vagu tokou onu,
"Rungus iso duvo tolu,
apat tulun,
tasu dalan tadau vagu tokou nunu tapui,
"Sungai/Tambanuo ido duo tolu opat lobuw waloi asu ralan runat wagu toko onu apui
"Iban satu, sa,
siti, sigi
dua tiga empat orang,
rumah ukui,
jalai hari baru kitai nama api
"Sarawak Malay satu,
dua tiga empat orang rumah asuk jalan ari baru kita apa api
"Terengganuan se duwe tige pak oghang ghumoh,
anjing jalang aghi baghu kite mende, ape,
gape, nape
"Kanayatn sa dua talu ampat urakng rumah asu' jalatn ari baru kami',
ahe api


The "protohistory of the Austronesian people can be traced farther back through time than can that of the "Proto-Austronesian language. From the standpoint of "historical linguistics, the home (in linguistic terminology, "Urheimat) of the Austronesian languages is the "main island of Taiwan, also known as Formosa; on this island the deepest divisions in Austronesian are found, among the families of the native "Formosan languages. According to "Robert Blust, the Formosan languages form nine of the ten primary branches of the Austronesian language family (Blust 1999). Comrie (2001:28) noted this when he wrote:

... the internal diversity among the... Formosan languages... is greater than that in all the rest of Austronesian put together, so there is a major "genetic split within Austronesian between Formosan and the rest... Indeed, the genetic diversity within Formosan is so great that it may well consist of several primary branches of the overall Austronesian family.

Austronesian languages expansion map. Periods are based on archeological studies, though the association of the archeological record and linguistic reconstructions is disputed.

At least since Sapir (1968), linguists have generally accepted that the chronology of the dispersal of languages within a given language family can be traced from the area of greatest linguistic variety to that of the least. For example, English in North America has large numbers of speakers, but relatively low dialectal diversity, while English in Great Britain has much higher diversity; such low linguistic variety by Sapir's thesis suggests a more recent origin of English in North America. While some scholars suspect that the number of principal branches among the Formosan languages may be somewhat less than Blust's estimate of nine (e.g. Li 2006), there is little contention among linguists with this analysis and the resulting view of the origin and direction of the migration. For a recent dissenting analysis, see (Peiros 2004). To get an idea of the original homeland of the Austronesian people, scholars can probe evidence from archaeology and "genetics. Studies from the science of genetics have produced conflicting outcomes. Some researchers find evidence for a proto-Austronesian homeland on the Asian mainland (e.g., Melton et al. 1998), while others mirror the linguistic research, rejecting an East Asian origin in favor of Taiwan (e.g., Trejaut et al. 2005). Archaeological evidence (e.g., Bellwood 1997) is more consistent, suggesting that the ancestors of the Austronesians spread from the South Chinese mainland to Taiwan at some time around 8,000 years ago. Evidence from historical linguistics suggests that it is from this island that seafaring peoples migrated, perhaps in distinct waves separated by millennia, to the entire region encompassed by the Austronesian languages (Diamond 2000). It is believed that this migration began around 6,000 years ago (Blust 1999). However, evidence from historical linguistics cannot bridge the gap between those two periods. The view that linguistic evidence connects Austronesian languages to the Sino-Tibetan ones, as proposed for example by Sagart (2002), is a minority one. As Fox (2004:8) states:

Implied in... discussions of subgrouping [of Austronesian languages] is a broad consensus that the homeland of the Austronesians was in Taiwan. This homeland area may have also included the "P'eng-hu (Pescadores) islands between Taiwan and China and possibly even sites on the coast of mainland China, especially if one were to view the early Austronesians as a population of related dialect communities living in scattered coastal settlements.

Linguistic analysis of the Proto-Austronesian language stops at the western shores of Taiwan; any related mainland language(s) have not survived. The only exceptions, the "Chamic languages, derive from more recent migration to the mainland (Thurgood 1999:225).

Hypothesized relations[edit]

Genealogical links have been proposed between Austronesian and various families of East and "Southeast Asia.


A link with the "Austroasiatic languages in an '"Austric' "phylum is based mostly on typological evidence. However, there is also morphological evidence of a connection between the conservative "Nicobarese languages and Austronesian languages of the Philippines. "Paul K. Benedict extended the Austric proposal to include the "Tai–Kadai and "Hmong–Mien families, but this has not been followed by other linguists.


A competing "Austro-Tai proposal linking Austronesian and "Tai–Kadai is supported by Weera Ostapirat, "Roger Blench, and Laurent Sagart, and is based on the traditional "comparative method. Ostapirat (2005) proposes a series of regular correspondences linking the two families and assumes a primary split, with Tai–Kadai speakers being the Austronesians who stayed behind in their Chinese homeland. Blench (2004) suggests that, if the connection is valid, the relationship is unlikely to be one of two sister families. Rather, he suggests that proto-Tai–Kadai speakers were Austronesians who migrated to "Hainan Island and back to the mainland from the northern Philippines, and that their distinctiveness results from radical restructuring following contact with "Hmong–Mien and "Sinitic.


French linguist and "Sinologist "Laurent Sagart considers the Austronesian languages to be related to the "Sino-Tibetan languages, and also groups the "Tai–Kadai languages as more closely related to the "Malayo-Polynesian languages.[35] He also groups the Austronesian languages in a recursive-like fashion, placing Tai–Kadai as a sister branch of Malayo-Polynesian. His methodology has been found to be spurious by his peers.


Several linguists have proposed that "Japanese "may be a relative of the Austronesian family.[36] Some linguists think it is more plausible that Japanese might have instead been influenced by Austronesian languages, perhaps by an Austronesian "substratum. Those who propose this scenario suggest that the Austronesian family once covered the islands to the north as well as to the south. "Alexander Vovin calls his reconstruction of Proto-Japanese suggestive of a Southeast Asian origin of the "Japonic languages.[37] Several Japanese linguists classify Japanese as "Para-Austronesian".["citation needed]


It has recently been proposed that the Austronesian and the "Ongan protolanguage are the descendants of an "Austronesian–Ongan protolanguage (Blevins 2007).[38]

Writing systems[edit]

Sign in "Balinese and "Latin script at a "Hindu temple in "Bali
Manuscript from early 1800s using "Batak alphabet

Most Austronesian languages have "Latin-based writing systems today. Some non-Latin-based writing systems are listed below.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Austronesian". "Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  2. ^ "Austronesian Languages". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 26 October 2016. 
  3. ^ Blust, Robert (2016). History of the Austronesian Languages. University of Hawaii at Manoa. 
  4. ^ Asya Pereltsvaig (2018). Languages of the World. Cambridge University Press. "ISBN "978-1-316-62196-7. 
  5. ^ Dempwolff, Otto (1934-37). Vergleichende Lautlehre des austronesischen Wortschatzes. (Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für Eingeborenen-Sprachen 15;17;19). Berlin: Dietrich Reimer. (3 vols.)
  6. ^ "John Simpson; "Edmund Weiner, eds. (1989). Official Oxford English Dictionary (OED2) ("Dictionary). "Oxford University Press. p. 22000. .
  7. ^ Adelaar, K. Alexander and Nikolaus Limmelmann. 2005. The Austronesian Languages of Asia and Madagascar. P.6-7
  8. ^ Croft, William. 2012 Verbs: Aspect and Causal Structure. P.261
  9. ^ "The Tipuns... are certainly descended from emigrants, and I have not the least doubt but that the Amias are of similar origin; only of later date, and most probably from the Mejaco Simas [that is, "Miyako-jima], a group of islands lying 110 miles to the North-east.... By all accounts the old Pilam savages, who merged into the Tipuns, were the first settlers on the plain; then came the Tipuns, and a long time afterwards the Amias. The Tipuns, for some time, acknowledged the Pilam Chief as supreme, but soon absorbed both the chieftainship and the people, in fact the only trace left of them now, is a few words peculiar to the Pilam village, one of which, makan (to eat), is pure Malay. The Amias submitted themselves to the jurisdiction of the Tipuns."
  10. ^ a b Li, Paul Jen-kuei. 2008. "Time perspective of Formosan Aborigines." In Sanchez-Mazas, Alicia ed. Past human migrations in East Asia: matching archaeology, linguistics and genetics. Taylor & Francis US.
  11. ^ Starosta, S. 1995. "A grammatical subgrouping of Formosan languages." In P. Li, Cheng-hwa Tsang, Ying-kuei Huang, Dah-an Ho, and Chiu-yu Tseng eds. Austronesian Studies Relating to Taiwan, pp. 683–726, Taipei: Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica.
  12. ^ "The position of Rukai is the most controversial: Tsuchida... treats it as more closely related to Tsouic languages, based on lexicostatistic evidence, while Ho... believes it to be one of the Paiwanic languages, i.e. part of my Southern group, as based on a comparison of fourteen grammatical features. In fact, Japanese anthropologists did not distinguish between Rukai, Paiwan and Puyuma in the early stage of their studies" (Li 2008: 216).
  13. ^ Ross, Malcolm. 2009. "Proto Austronesian verbal morphology: A reappraisal." In Alexander Adelaar and Andrew Pawley (eds.). Austronesian historical linguistics and culture history: a festschrift for Robert Blust. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics.
  14. ^ Chang, Henry Yungli. 2006. "Rethinking the Tsouic Subgroup Hypothesis: A Morphosyntactic Perspective." In Chang, H., Huang, L. M., Ho, D. (eds.). Streams converging into an ocean: Festschrift in honor of Professor Paul Jen-Kuei Li on his 70th birthday. Taipei: Institute of Linguistics, Academia Sinica.
  15. ^ Siman Widyatmanta, Adiparwa. Vol. I dan II. Cetakan Ketiga. Yogyakarta: U.P. "Spring", 1968.
  16. ^ Zoetmulder, P.J., Kamus Jawa Kuno-Indonesia. Vol. I-II. Terjemahan Darusuprapto-Sumarti Suprayitno. Jakarta: PT. Gramedia Pustaka Utama, 1995.
  17. ^ [1] Javanese alphabet, pronunciation, and language (Aksara Jawa), http://www.omniglot.com/writing/javanese.htm
  18. ^ from the "Arabic صِفْر ṣifr
  19. ^ Predominantly in Indonesia, comes from the "Latin nullus
  20. ^ The "Sanskrit loanword "Ekasila" : "Eka" means 1, "Sila" means "pillar", "principle" appeared in "Sukarno's speech
  21. ^ In "Kedukan Bukit inscription the numeral tlu ratus appears as three hundred, tlu as three, in http://www.wordsense.eu/telu/ the word telu is referred to as three in Malay, although the use of telu is very rare.
  22. ^ The "Sanskrit loanword "Trisila" : "Tri" means 3, "Sila" means "pillar", "principle" appeared in "Sukarno's speech
  23. ^ loanword from "Sanskrit पञ्चन् páñcan - see "Sukarno's "Pancasila: "five principles", "Pancawarna: "five colours, colourful".
  24. ^ lapan is a known contraction of delapan; predominant in Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei.
  25. ^ [2]
  26. ^ Cook, Richard (1992). Peace Corps Marshall Islands: Marshallese Language Training Manual ("PDF), pg. 22. Accessed August 27, 2007
  27. ^ Percy Chatterton, (1975). Say It In Motu: An instant introduction to the common language of Papua. Pacific Publications. "ISBN "978-0-85807-025-7
  28. ^ In Kedukan Bukit inscription appears the numeral Tlu ratus as Three hundred, Tlu as Three, in http://www.wordsense.eu/telu/ the word Telu is referred as Three in Malay and Indonesian Language although the use of Telu is very rare.
  29. ^ s.v. kawan, Old Javanese-English Dictionary, P.J. Zoetmulder and Stuart Robson, 1982
  30. ^ s.v. hañar, Old Javanese-English Dictionary, P.J. Zoetmulder and Stuart Robson, 1982
  31. ^ s.v. kami, this could mean both first person singular and plural, Old Javanese-English Dictionary, P.J. Zoetmulder and Stuart Robson, 1982
  32. ^ a b c d e f g h i Javanese English Dictionary, Stuart Robson and Singgih Wibisono, 2002
  33. ^ From "Spanish "galgo"
  34. ^ From "Spanish "nuevo"
  35. ^ van Driem, George. 2005. Sino-Austronesian vs. Sino-Caucasian, Sino-Bodic vs. Sino-Tibetan, and Tibeto-Burman as default theory. Contemporary Issues in Nepalese Linguistics, pp. 285–338. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-26. Retrieved 2010-10-29.  (see page 304)
  36. ^ Benedict (1990), Lewin (1976), Matsumoto (1975), Miller (1967), Murayama (1976), Shibatani (1990).
  37. ^ Vovin, Alexander. "Proto-Japanese beyond the accent system". Current Issues in Linguistic Theory. 
  38. ^ Blevins, Juliette (2007), "A Long Lost Sister of Proto-Austronesian? Proto-Ongan, Mother of Jarawa and Onge of the Andaman Islands" (PDF), Oceanic Linguistics, 46 (1): 154–198, "doi:10.1353/ol.2007.0015, archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-01-11 


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