A language of China

Alternate Names
Santa, Tung, Tunghsiang

200,000 (Bradley 2007a). Half in Suonanba dialect. 80,000 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 514,000 (Bradley 2007b).


Gansu province: Linxia Hui autonomous prefecture, 7 counties and a city; Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region: Ili Kazak autonomous prefecture, Huocheng and Yining counties.

Language Maps
Language Status

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


Suonanba (Xiaonan), Wangjiaji, Sijiaji. Some intelligibility with Bonan [peh]. Minor dialect differences in pronunciation and borrowed words. Suonanba considered the standard.


SOV; no vowel harmony or vowel length distinction; rich in consonants including uvulars; case marking.

Language Use

Shifting to Chinese. Home, religion, local commerce, oral tradition. Positive attitudes. Also use Mandarin Chinese [cmn].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L2: 12%. Radio programs. Dictionary. Grammar.
Other Comments

30% of vocabulary borrowed from Chinese. Muslim.

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