Be language(Redirected from 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 ʔaŋ˧vo˧, with ʔaŋ˧ being the prefix for persons and vo˧ meaning 'village' (Liang 1997:1). Liang (1997) notes that it is similar to the autonym ŋaːu˩fɔːn˩ (from ŋaːu˩ 'person' and fɔːn˩ 'village'), which Gelong 仡隆 (Cun language) speakers refer to themselves by.
Be is a Kra–Dai language, but its precise relationship to other branches within the Kra-Dai family has yet not been conclusively determined. Hansell (1988) considers Be to be a sister of the Tai branch based on shared vocabulary, and proposes a Be–Tai grouping.
Weera Ostapirat (1998), analyzing data from Zhang (1992), notes that Be and Jizhao share many lexical similarities and sound correspondences, and that Jizhao may be a remnant Be-related language on the Chinese mainland.
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 (Liang 1997).
Liang (1997:16) considers Be to have migrated to Hainan from the Leizhou Peninsula of Guangdong about 2,500 years ago during the Warring States Period, but not over 3,000 years ago. Liang & Zhang (1996:21-25) also believe that Be had migrated from the Leizhou Peninsula to northern Hainan about 2,500 years ago during the Warring States period.
- Be at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
- Hansell, Mark. 1988. The Relation of Be to Tai: Evidence from Tones and Initials. In Comparative Kadai: Linguistic studies beyond Tai. Edited by Jerold A. Edmondson and David B. Solnit. Summer Institute of Linguistics and The University of Texas at Arlington Publications in Linguistics No. 86: 239-288.
- Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Lingao". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
- Ostapirat, W. (1998). A Mainland Bê Language? / 大陆的Bê语言？. Journal of Chinese Linguistics, 26(2), 338-344
- Zhang Zhenxing [张振兴]. 1992. "Guangdongsheng Wuchuan fangyan jilve" [广东省吴川方言记略]. In Fangyan [方言] 1992(3).
- Liang Min 梁敏 & Zhang Junru 张均如. 1996. Dongtai yuzu gailun 侗台语族概论 / An introduction to the Kam–Tai languages. Beijing: China Social Sciences Academy Press 中国社会科学出版社. ISBN 9787500416814
- 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].