Around one fifth of the world's languages are found in the Pacific region, an area which is home to many pidgins and creoles (such as Tok Pisin and Bislama), as well as to traditional languages (such as Fijian and Maori). Pacific languages include those found on the island of New Guinea, in Timor, the Moluccas and the Solomon Islands (these are known as Papuan languages) and those found through Micronesia, Melanesia and Polynesia (known as Austronesian languages). This means the languages of the region are diverse in both structure and in function. Pacific languages have not traditionally been taught in Australian schools or at university, although their diversity makes them of particular interest to linguists.
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