Micronesian Languages

Also found in: Wikipedia.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Micronesian Languages


one of the distinct groups in the Austronesian (Malayo-Polynesian) language family, including dozens of small languages, such as Sonsorol, Yapese, Trukese, and Ponapean in the Caroline Islands, Marshallese and Gilbertese in the Marshall and Gilbert islands, and Nauru on Nauru Island. The grammatical structure of these languages is similar to that of the Melanesian languages. The Micronesian languages have several derivational series of numerals. For example, in the Nauru language the word “four” is āmen (when counting living things), āoe (when counting edible plants), and āeok (for abstract counting). Some scholars classify Palau, spoken in the Palau Islands in the Carolines, and Chamorro, spoken in the Marianas, as Indonesian rather than Micronesian languages.


Capell, A. “Oceanic Linguistics Today.” Current Anthropology, 1962, vol. 3, no. 4.
Izui, H. “The Languages of Micronesia: Their Unity and Diversity.” Lingua, 1965, vol. 14.
Bender, B. W. “Micronesian Languages.” In Current Trends in Linguistics, vol. 8. The Hague-Paris, 1971.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The western Micronesian languages of Palauan and Chamorro stand in contrast to the Oceanic languages spoken in the rest of Remote Oceania.
Evidence of this generalization is observed in Kusaiean, in which the possessive classifier can be used for benefactive marking in conjunction with "derived" intransitive verbs as well, although the latter must co-occur with their "included" or incorporated object nominals, as illustrated in (17) (Lee 1975: 263, 270-277; see Sugita 1973 for a detailed discussion of object incorporation in Micronesian languages).
Semitransitive verbs and object incorporation in Micronesian languages. Oceanic Linguistics 12, 393-406.
The influence of matrilineal descent principles in Micronesia extends well beyond the island societies speaking what linguists call Nuclear Micronesian languages. Palau, the Marianas, and Yap, which were apparently settled from what are now Indonesia and the Philippines (as opposed to Nuclear Micronesian's origins in northeast Melanesia), share many of the principles that organize, in particular, rank and land tenure.