Definition of Austronesian in English:


Syllabification: Aus·tro·ne·sian
Pronunciation: /ˌôstrōˈnēZHən


Of, relating to, or denoting a family of languages spoken in an area extending from Madagascar in the west to the Pacific islands in the east. Also called Malayo-Polynesian.
More example sentences
  • Today, Austronesian languages are spoken from Madagascar in the west, to Easter Island in the east.
  • Small Austronesian languages are another area of current research.
  • Archaeological evidence supports the commonly held theory that peoples speaking Austronesian languages first came to the islands some 4,000 years ago.


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The Austronesian family of languages.
More example sentences
  • He is continuing experiments on the Indo-European issues, and has new work on Austronesian in progress.
  • Some people argue against it, but I think the evidence for Austronesian is very strong.
  • The indigenous languages belong to the Central Oceanic branch of Eastern Austronesian and are divided into eastern and western branches.


from German austronesisch, based on Latin australis 'southern' (see austral) + Greek nēsos 'island'.

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