|Southeast Asia and the Pacific|
The Malayo-Polynesian languages are a subgroup of the Austronesian languages used by some 351 million speakers. These are widely dispersed throughout the island nations of Southeast Asia and the Pacific Ocean, with a smaller number in continental Asia. Malagasy is a geographic outlier, spoken in the island of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean.
A characteristic of the Malayo-Polynesian languages is a tendency to use reduplication (repetition of all or part of a word) to express the plural, and like other Austronesian languages have simple phonologies; thus a text has few but frequent sounds. The majority also lack consonant clusters (e.g., [str] or [mpt] in English). Most also have only a small set of spoken vowels, five being a common number.
Traditional classifications would divide Malayo-Polynesian into Western and Central-Eastern branches. However, Western MP has been subdivided into inner and outer groups. For a more modern classification, see Austronesian languages.
Outer Hesperonesian languages
Sunda-Sulawesi languages have about 230 million speakers and include Indonesian Malay, Malaysian Malay, Sundanese, Javanese, Acehnese, Chamorro, and Palau (Belau). Central-Eastern Malayo-Polynesian languages include Gilbertese, Nauruan, Hawaiian, Maori, Samoan, Tahitian, Tongan, and Tuvaluan.
Ethnologue has classified these languages into 23 groups. The country or countries listed beside individual group(s) is where the group is primarily spoken.
Bali-Sasak, Gayo, Javanese, Kayan-Murik, Lampungic, Madurese, Sulawesi, Sumatra, Sundanese- Indonesia
Meso-Philippine, Northern Philippine, Sama-Bajaw, South-Mindanao, South-Philippine- Philippines
Central-Eastern- Indonesia, Pacific Islands including New Guinea
Chamorro- Guam and Northern Marianas Islands