Ong Be language
Be (native pronunciation: [ʔɑŋ˧ɓe˧]), also known as Ong Be, Bê, or Vo Limgao (Chinese: 臨高; pinyin: Lín'gāo), is a language spoken by 600,000 people, 100,000 of them monolingual, on the north-central coast of Hainan Island, including the suburbs of the provincial capital Haikou. According to Ethnologue, it is taught in primary schools.
|Native to||People's Republic of China|
Be speakers refer to themselves as ʔaŋ3 vo3, with ʔaŋ3 being the prefix for persons and vo3 meaning 'village' (Liang 1997:1). Liang (1997) notes that it is similar to the autonym ŋaːu1 fɔːn1 (from ŋaːu1 'person' and fɔːn1 'village'), which Gelong 仡隆 (Cun language) speakers refer to themselves by.
Be consists of the Lincheng 临城 (Western) and Qiongshan 琼山 (Eastern) dialects (Liang 1997). Liang (1997:32) documents the following varieties of Be.
- Lingao County (including Lincheng 临城镇 and Xinying 新盈镇 towns)
- Bailian 白莲, Chengmai County
- Longtan Township 龙塘镇, Qiongshan District
Be of Chengmai is intermediate between the Lincheng and Qiongshan dialects, and has features of both.
- Be at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
- Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Lingao". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
- Ethnologue classifies Ong Be with the Tai and Kam–Sui languages based on shared vocabulary. However, this is negative evidence, perhaps due to lexical replacement in other branches of the family, and morphological evidence suggests that the Tai and Kam–Sui languages are closer to the Hlai and Kra languages, respectively. The place of Ong Be in this scheme is unknown.
- Liang Min [梁敏]. 1997. A study of Lingao [临高语研究]. Shanghai: Shanghai Far Eastern Publishing House [上海远东出版].