A Typological and Sociolinguistic Study of the Gelong Language Spoken in Western Hainan (GRF project funded by RGC of HKSAR)

Project: Research project

Project Details


Hainan Province (海南省) has long been a place where people of different language varieties have interacted. This project proposes to investigate the unusual Gelong (村語/哥龍話) language now spoken in Dongfang city (東方市), western Hainan, from typological and sociolinguistic perspectives. The proposed project will (1) provide documentation on Gelong aiming at giving an account of the inter-relationship among Li, Chinese and other language varieties spoken in Dongfang city; (2) conduct a sociolinguistic survey which can provide the broader sociolinguistic landscape on the linguistic demography and more specifically on language shift/drift as well as language loss in the Gelong speech community; (3) undertake detailed fieldwork studies (with speakers of different generations) on some salient syntactic structures to study on-going typological change in Gelong. It is expected that the results of the above three areas can (1) deepen our understanding of language development such as the identification of substrate and superstrate languages contributed by speakers of different languages and cultural background of different ethnic groups which have had prolonged and extensive language contact and (2) increase the awareness, particularly within the Gelong community, on language endangerment resulting from language shift.

Funding Source: RGC - General Research Fund (GRF)
Effective start/end date01/10/1131/03/15


  • language shift/drift
  • linguistic typology
  • language contact
  • language change


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.