Linguistic Melanesia

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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.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge Handbook of Language Contact
EditorsEvangelia Adamou, Yaron Matras
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9781351109154
ISBN (Print)9780815363552
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameRoutledge handbooks in linguistics


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