Nicobarese is a very small branch of Austroasiatic (AA) speech that is uniquely insular in distribution, with the closest neighbours speaking varieties of Austronesian (An) and Andamanese languages. There are various typological similarities with An languages of Northern Sumatra and the Malay Peninsula, in addition to various Nicobarese innovations. The typological changes are such that the unambiguous AA heritage of Nicobarese is only revealed by close examination of the basic lexical stock and oldest layers of morphology, recognized as early as 1906 by Wilhelm Schmidt. Extant literature on the poorly documented Nicobarese languages (Car, Nancowry) is synthesised to profile word-order patterns and constraints, and the marking of grammatical relations. Proto-Nicobarese is proposed to have favoured VS/VPA word order, with fronted S/A an available option.