Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands
Linguistic classificationAustronesian

The Meso-Melanesian languages are a linkage of Oceanic languages spoken in the large Melanesian islands of New Ireland and the Solomon Islands east of New Guinea. Bali is one of the most conservative languages.


The languages group as follows:[1]

The languages of New Ireland are part of the Meso-Melanesian linkage.
The languages of New Ireland are part of the Meso-Melanesian linkage.

Ethnologue adds Guramalum to the St George linkage.

The Willaumez Peninsula on the north coast of New Britain was evidently the center of dispersal.

Johnston (1982) combines the Willaumez and Bali–Vitu branches into a single Kimbe branch, for which he reconstructs Proto-Kimbe.[2]

Language contact

Lenition in Lamasong, Madak, Barok, Nalik, and Kara may have diffused via influence from Kuot, the only non-Austronesian language spoken on New Ireland (Ross 1994: 566).[3]


  1. ^ Lynch, John; Malcolm Ross; Terry Crowley (2002). The Oceanic languages. Richmond, Surrey: Curzon. ISBN 9780700711284. OCLC 48929366.
  2. ^ Johnston, R.L. 1982. "Proto-Kimbe and the New Guinea Oceanic hypothesis". In Halim, A., Carrington, L. and Wurm, S.A. editors. Papers from the Third International Conference on Austronesian Linguistics, Vol. 1: Currents in Oceanic, 59-95. doi:10.15144/PL-C74.59
  3. ^ Ross, Malcolm. 1994. Areal phonological features in north central New Ireland. In: Dutton and Tryon (eds.) Language contact and change in the Austronesian world, 551–572. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.