Dong, Southern


A language of China

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



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

6a (Vigorous). Language of recognized nationality: Dong.


Reportedly similar to Mulam [mlm]. Lexical similarity: 93% with Southern Dong dialects, 71% with Northern Dong [doc], 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

All domains. All ages. Neutral attitudes. Use Mandarin [cmn] for literature. Northern Dong [doc] users are more bilingual than Southern Dong.

Language Development
Poetry. Magazines. New media. Films. TV. Videos. Dictionary. Grammar. NT: 2006.

Han (Hanzi, Kanji, Hanja) script [Hani], dating from late-Ming dynasty, used in ritual texts and folk domains. Latin script [Latn], pinyin-based, 1958–1966 and from 1981, experimental, small-scale use in education, administration, and literature.

Other Comments

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