Dong, Southern


A language of China

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

1,000,000. Ethnic population: 2,880,000 (2010 census). Includes Northern Dong [doc].


Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region: 20 contiguous counties; Guizhou province: Yuping autonomous county; conjunction of west Hunan province and north Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

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. Used by all. Neutral attitudes. Also use Northern Dong [doc]. Also use Mandarin Chinese [cmn], for literature.

Language Development

Periodicals. TV. Videos. Dictionary. Grammar. Texts. 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

Traditional way of life relatively undisturbed. Traditional religion.

Page Views Left: