Borneo-Philippines languages

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Southeast Asia and Madagascar


two dozen branches

The Borneo-Philippines languages (or Outer Hesperonesian or Outer Western Malayo-Polynesian languages) are a branch of the Austronesian family which includes the languages of the Philippines, much of Borneo, the northern peninsula of Sulawesi, and Madagascar, as outlined in Wouk and Ross (2002).

The traditional group of Western Malayo-Polynesian (WMP), or Hesperonesian, has been broken up into "outer" (Borneo-Philippines) and "inner" (Sunda-Sulawesi languages|Sunda-Sulawesi) clades, and Western Malayo-Polynesian is considered merely a geographic term in this classification.


There are a large number of small clusters of languages in the Borneo-Philippines family whose interrelationship remains uncertain.

Bold headings below are geographic conveniences and do not imply a genealogical relationship.

Northern Philippine
  • Bashiic languages (4 languages between Luzon and Formosa, including Ivatan of the Philippines and Tao people|Yami of Taiwan)
  • Northern Luzon languages
    • Ilokano language|Ilokano (encircles the cordillera)
    • Northern Cordilleran languages (15 languages of the cordillera and east coast of Luzon, including Ibanag and Agta)
    • South-Central Cordilleran languages (25 languages in the mountains of northern Luzon, including Pangasinan and the Igorot languages)
    • Arta language|Arta (within the Pangasinan area)
  • Central Luzon languages (5 languages near Mount Pinatubo, including Kapampangan)
  • Northern Mindoro languages (or North Mangyan; 3 languages)
Visayas and southern Luzon
  • Southern Philippine languages
    • Manobo languages (15 languages of central Mindanao, including Tasaday)
    • Danao languages (3 languages of east Mindanao, including Magindanao and Maranao)
    • Subanun languages (5 languages of the western peninsula of Mindanao)
  • South Mindanao languages (5 languages of the southern coast, including Tboli)
  • Sama-Bajaw languages (10 languages of the Sulu Archipelago and Biliran, several called Sama or Bajaw language|Bajaw)
  • Barito languages (12 languages of south Borneo and Madagascar, including Ngaju Dayak language|Ngaju Dayak and Malagasy language|Malagasy)
  • Kayan language (18 languages of central Borneo, includin Kayan language|Kayan)
  • Penan|Penan (Punan-Nibong)
  • Land Dayak languages|Land Dayak (12 languages of west Borneo, such as Lara’)
  • Melanau-Kajang languages
    • Kajang languages|Kajang (Rejang) (3)
    • Melanau languages|Melanau (Lower Rejang) (3)
  • Berawan-Lower Baram languages|Berawan-Lower Baram (Baram-Tinjar) (5)
  • Bintulu language|Bintulu
  • Dayic languages (languages of Sabah-Sarawak-Kalimantan border area)
    • Kelabitic languages|Kelabitic (Apo Duat) (5 languages, including Kelabit)
    • Murutic languages|Murutic (Murut-Tidong) (12 languages, including Tagol Murut language|Tagol Murut)
  • Kenyah languages|Kenyah (11 languages of central Borneo called Kenyah language|Kenyah
  • Rejang-Sajau languages (5)
  • Sabahan languages (languages of Sabah)
    • Dusunic languages|Dusunic (Dusun-Bisaya) (15 languages, including Kadazan-Dusun)
    • Ida'an language|Ida’an
    • Paitanic languages|Paitanic (5 languages, including ambanuo)
Northern Sulawesi
  • Sangiric languages (4 languages of very north, including Bantik language|Bantik)
  • Minahasan languages (5 languages called Minahasa)
  • Mongondow-Gorontalo languages (9 languages of Gorontal and North Sulawesi provinces, including Bolaang Mongondow language|Bolaang Mongondow)


  • Fay Wouk and Malcolm Ross (ed.), The history and typology of western Austronesian voice systems. Australian National University, 2002.

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