Tongic languages

Last updated
Tonga and Niue
Linguistic classification Austronesian
Glottolog tong1324 [1]

The family of Tongic languages is a small group of the Polynesian languages. It consists of at least two languages, Tongan and Niuean, and possibly a third, Niuafoʻouan.

Polynesian languages Language family

The Polynesian languages form a language family spoken in geographical Polynesia and on a patchwork of outliers from south central Micronesia to small islands off the northeast of the larger islands of the southeast Solomon Islands and sprinkled through Vanuatu. Linguistic taxonomists classify them as a subgroup of the much larger and more varied Austronesian family, belonging to the Oceanic branch of that family.

Tongan is an Austronesian language of the Polynesian branch spoken in Tonga. It has around 180,000 speakers and is a national language of Tonga. It is a VSO (verb–subject–object) language.

Niuean is a Polynesian language, belonging to the Malayo-Polynesian subgroup of the Austronesian languages. It is most closely related to Tongan and slightly more distantly to other Polynesian languages such as Māori, Sāmoan, and Hawaiʻian. Together, Tongan and Niuean form the Tongic subgroup of the Polynesian languages. Niuean also has a number of influences from Samoan and Eastern Polynesian languages.

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  1. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Tongic". Glottolog 3.0 . Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.