In all, there is a wonderful amount of specialization, though perhaps in a very straight line from generalized forms; but the affinity to Australian or Polynesian types is in many cases clearly traceable, and it cannot be supposed but that these last are of cognate origin with those of New Zealand.
In the low and sub-mountainous lands the flora is a mixture of Malayan, Australian and Polynesian forms. There are, according to Muller, twice as many palms known from New Guinea as from Australia.
Such an explanation of the Polynesian's origin does not preclude a relationship with the Malays.
Borings and soundings taken at Funafuti in 1897 indicate almost beyond doubt that the whole of this Polynesian region is an area of comparatively recent subsidence.
Apart from tradition, Samoan is the most archaic of all the Polynesian tongues, and still preserves the organic letter s, which becomes h or disappears in nearly all the other archipelagos.