Bonan

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A language of China

Alternate Names
Bao’an, Baonan, Boan, Paoan, Paongan
Population

6,000. Very few monolinguals. Ethnic population: 24,500, including 16,500 Jishishan and 8000 Tongren.

Location

Southwest Gansu Province, Linxia Hui autonomous prefecture, Jishishan Bao’an-Dongxiang-Sala Autonomous county; east Qinghai Province, Tongren county.

Language Maps
Language Status

7 (Shifting).

Dialects

Jishishan (Dahejia, Dajiahe, Dakheczjha), Tongren (Tungyen). Jishishan subdialects are Ganhetan and Dadun; Tongren subdialects are Nianduhu, Guomari, Gajiuri, and Lower Bao’an. Jishishan dialect has been influenced by Mandarin Chinese [cmn], Tongren by Tibetan [bod]. There are phonological and grammatical differences between them, and inherent intelligibility may be low.

Typology

SOV; stress on final syllable; modifiers precede noun heads; Tongren dialect allows onset consonant clusters which resemble Tibetan; Jishishan dialect has Chinese-type syllable structure

Language Use

Religion, local administration, home; for Tongren, not used for religion. Tongren: all ages. Positive attitudes, except in Tongren. Also use Amdo Tibetan [adx] or Mandarin [cmn].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L2: 44% (2000 census, Baoan nationality). No written language; no desire for one. Amdo Tibetan is local LWC. Chinese required to excel in school and find a good job. Dictionary. Grammar.
Other Comments

Jishishan Bonan in Gansu officially classified within Baoan (Bao’an) nationality and moved into Jishishan from Tongren in 1858–1863, while Tongren Bonan in Qinghai officially classified within Tu nationality. Muslim (Sunni), Buddhist (Lamaist), traditional religion.