The languages of Melanesia encompass 19% of the world's linguistic repertoire. In spite of this, the languages of Melanesia have been woefully under-represented in the literature. One consequence of this dearth of information is that language viability assessment tools have been developed in sociolinguistic contexts that do not coincide with the Melanesia milieu. With the growing concern of language endangerment worldwide, professionals are beginning to look at Melanesia. This article reviews literature produced over the past 30 years on language endangerment or language viability and the Melanesian context, then suggests a mechanism for language viability assessment developed with Melanesia in mind.