A language of China

ISO 639-3: onb

Population 600,000 (2000 Liang Min). 100,000 monolinguals. Population includes 350,000 Lincheng, 170,000 Qiongshan.
Region North central coast of Hainan, entire Lingao county, parts of Danxian, Chengmai, and Qiongshan counties, and suburbs of Haikou city.
Alternate names   Vo Limkou, Limkow, Linkow, Ongbe, Ong-Be, BÍ
Dialects Lincheng (Lingao Proper-Dengmai), Qiongshan.
Classification Tai-Kadai, Kam-Tai, Be-Tai, Be
Language use Vigorous. Speakers of other languages in the area speak it. All domains. All ages. Positive language attitude. Urban members also use Hainan dialect of Min Nan Chinese. 300,000 speak Chinese as second language, 200,000 speaking Hainan dialect, 100,000 speaking Jun or Danzhou dialects. Chinese used in secondary schools.
Language development Taught in primary schools. Radio programs. Dictionary. Grammar.


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Part of the Han nationality. SVO; linguistically similar to Zhuang and Dai. Lincheng reported to have 7 tone categories, Qiongshan 13. Loans from Cantonese and Hainan variety of Min Nan Chinese. Coastal, foothills. Agriculturalists; fishermen. Traditional religion, Daoist, Buddhist.