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Native languages of Oceania fall into three major geographic groups:

  • The large Austronesian language family, with such languages as Malay (Indonesian), Tagalog (Filipino), and Polynesian languages such as Maori and Hawaiian
  • The Aboriginal Australian languages, including the large Pamaâ€"Nyungan family
  • The Papuan languages of New Guinea and neighbouring islands, including the large Transâ€"New Guinea family

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, Chavacano, 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, or Fiji Hindi in Fiji.

References


Languages of Oceania




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