Linguistic Melanesia is the linguistically diverse area centred on the island of New Guinea. At its core the area is dominated by genealogically diverse Papuan languages, but also takes in a large number of languages of the Austronesian family. Austronesian languages show a progressive convergence on the linguistic norms of Papuan languages the closer they are to New Guinea. This attenuation of Austronesian features to Papuan ones results in concentric circles of linguistic features clustering around New Guinea. Contact between Papuan languages has also led to smaller zones in which competing forces of convergence and divergence can be seen at play.
|Title of host publication||Routledge Handbook of Language Contact|
|Editors||Evangelia Adamou, Yaron Matras|
|Number of pages||23|
|Publication status||Published - 2020|
|Name||Routledge handbooks in linguistics|