Dong, Northern


A language of China

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

463,000 in China (2003).


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

Language Maps
Language Status

6b (Threatened).


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].


Tonal, 9 tones

Language Use

Vigorous. All domains. All ages. Also use Mandarin Chinese [cmn].

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

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