Dong, Northern

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A language of China

Alternate Names
Gam, Kam, Tong, Tung, Tung-Chia
Population

463,000 in China (2003).

Location

Area where west Hunan Province and north Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region meet, southeast Guizhou (Yuping autonomous county); Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, 20 contiguous counties.

Language Maps
Language Status

6b (Threatened). Language of recognized nationality: Dong.

Dialects

None known. Zhanglu speech in Rongjiang County, Guizhou Province is standard variety. Reportedly similar to Mulam [mlm]. Lexical similarity: 80% with Northern Dong varieties, 71% with Southern Dong [kmc], 46% with Lakkia [lbc], 29% with Qabiao [laq], 26% with Hlai [lic], 24% with Gelao, 22% with Lachi [lbt], 6% with Hmong Njua [hnj], 4% with Iu Mien [ium].

Typology

Tonal, 9 tones.

Language Use

Vigorous. All domains. All ages. Also use Mandarin Chinese [cmn]. Used as L2 by Pa-Hng [pha], Southern Dong [kmc].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L2: 55%. Dictionary. Grammar.
Writing

Latin script [Latn], pinyin-based, used since 1981, experimental, small-scale use in education and literature.

Other Comments

Ethnic autonym: Kam; Dong is the Chinese name. Traditional way of life relatively undisturbed. Traditional religion.