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|Polynesia, with outliers in Melanesia and Micronesia|
The Polynesian languages are a group of languages spoken in Oceania. They all belong in the Malayo-Polynesian branch of the Austronesian languages. They are mostly spoken in Polynesia, but some are spoken in nearby Melanesia and Micronesia.
The Polynesian languages formed when Austronesians in New Caledonia (the Lapita culture) started moving to other parts of Oceania. Navigation of Oceania continued until 1300AD, with the discovery of New Zealand (Aotearoa) by the Māori people.
|Language||Number of speakers in Australia||Number of speakers in New Zealand|
|Cook Islands Māori||5,119||7,725|
|Māori||11,746|| 50,000 fluent|
149,000 with some knowledge
|Tokelauan||956||1,144 (mainland), 1,400 (Tokelau)|
Throughout the Polynesian languages, many sound changes occur. They mainly exist in consonants. For example, Samoan "f" corresponds to Hawaiian "h".
Hawaiian hale - Samoan fale (house)
Hawaiian aloha - Samoan talofa (hello)
- "Polynesian languages" (in en). https://www.britannica.com/topic/Polynesian-languages.
- "Lapita culture" (in en). https://www.britannica.com/topic/Lapita-culture.
- "A Brief History of New Zealand | New Zealand Now". https://www.newzealandnow.govt.nz/living-in-nz/history-government/a-brief-history.
- "Polynesian culture | History, Religion, Traditions, & Facts" (in en). https://www.britannica.com/place/Polynesia.