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Micronesia

From Academic Kids

This article is about the Pacific region known as Micronesia. Micronesia may also be used to refer to the Federated States of Micronesia.

Micronesia (from the Greek words μικρόν = small and νησί = island) is the name of a region in the Pacific Ocean. The Philippines lie to the west, Indonesia to the south west, Papua New Guinea and Melanesia to the south, and Polynesia to the south-east and east.

Contents

Geography

The region consists of hundreds of small islands spread over a large region of the western Pacific. Politically, it is divided between seven territories: the Federated States of Micronesia (often referred to simply as "Micronesia"), the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Republic of Palau, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Republic of Nauru, the Republic of Kiribati, and the Territory of Guam. (The first four of these formerly constituted the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands).

Languages

The native languages of the various Micronesian indigenous peoples are classified under the Austronesian language family. Almost all of these languages belong to the Oceanic subgroup of this family; however, three exceptions are noted in Western Micronesia, which belong to the Western Malayo-Polynesian subgroup:

This latter subgroup also includes quite a few languages spoken today in the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia.1

On the eastern edge of the Federated States of Micronesia, the languages Nukuoro and Kapingamarangi represent an extreme westward extension of Polynesian.

See also

Micronesian music

References

Note 1: (Kirch, Patrick Vinton: On the Road of the Winds. An Archaeological History of the Pacific Islands before European Contact. pp. 166-167. Berkeley, LA 2000).

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