Languages of Papua New Guinea
|Languages of Papua New Guinea & Indonesia|
|Official languages||Tok Pisin, English, Hiri Motu, Papua New Guinean Sign Language|
|Lingua franca||Tok Pisin|
The languages of Papua New Guinea today number over 850. These languages are spoken by the inhabited tribal groups of Papua New Guinea & Indonesia. In 2006, Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare stated that "Papua New Guinea has 832 living languages (languages, not dialects)"  making it the most linguistically diverse place on earth. Its official languages are Tok Pisin, English, Hiri Motu and Papua New Guinean Sign Language. Tok Pisin, an English-based creole, is the most widely spoken, serving as the country's lingua franca. Papua New Guinean Sign Language became the fourth official language in May 2015, and is used by the deaf population throughout the country.
Tok Pisin is an English-based creole language spoken throughout Papua New Guinea. It is an official language of Papua New Guinea and the most widely used language in the country. In parts of Western, Gulf, Central, Oro and Milne Bay provinces, however, the use of Tok Pisin has a shorter history, and is less universal, especially among older people.
The longest-established languages of Papua New Guinea are known as the Papuan languages.
The Austronesian languages are widely spread across the globe, as far west as Malagasy in Madagascar, as far east as Rapa Nui on Easter Island, and as far as north as the Formosan languages of Taiwan. Austronesian has several primary branches, all but one of which are found exclusively on Taiwan.
- (Statement at the World Leaders Forum, Columbia University, September 21, 2006; website of the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea).
- "Seven decades after Independence, many small languages in India face extinction threat".
- A.V. (24 July 2017). "Papua New Guinea’s incredible linguistic diversity". The Economist. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
- CIA World Factbook: Papua New Guinea
- Gordon, Raymond G., Jr. (ed.) (2005). Ethnologue: Languages of the World (Fifteenth ed.). Dallas, Tex.: SIL International.