It is now known that the Melanesian languages do not form a genealogical node. Like Papuan, the term is now used as one of convenience, and sometimes placed in scare quotes. Although the term was at least in the beginning partially racial rather than linguistic, the Melanesian and other Central–Eastern Malayo-Polynesian languages are typologically similar, due to being the Austronesian languages most heavily restructured under the influence of various Papuan language families. Wikipedia