Malagasy is the westernmost Austronesian language and belongs to the South East Barito subgroup of the Western Malayo-Polynesian subfamily (Dahl 1988, Rasoloson & Rubino 2005). Dahl (1951) presents widely-accepted evidence that Malagasy is most closely related to the Indonesian language Ma’anyan of Kalimantan (South Borneo). The term Malagasy refers to a macrolanguage (Lewis, Simons & Fennig 2014), with many regional dialects distributed throughout the island of Madagascar, which lies off the east African coast across from Mozambique (see Figure 1) and has a population of over 22 million (INSTAT 2018). The central area of the country, or the ‘Central Highlands’, is a plateau of up to 5000 feet and includes the capital city of Antananarivo, with a metropolitan population of about four million. The dialect historically spoken in and around Antananarivo is called Merina, and it served as the primary basis for development of the standardized, institutional language referred to as Malagasy Ofisialy ‘Official Malagasy’ (OM).