Oroqen language

Native toChina
RegionInner Mongolia and Heilongjiang
Native speakers
1,200 (2009)[1]
  • Northern
    • Evenki
      • Oroqen
Language codes
ISO 639-3orh

Oroqen (also known as Orochon, Oronchon, Olunchun, Elunchun, Ulunchun) is a Northern Tungusic language spoken in the People's Republic of China. Dialects are Gankui and Heilongjiang. Gankui is the standard dialect.[3] It is spoken by the Oroqen people of Inner Mongolia (predominantly the Oroqin Autonomous Banner) and Heilongjiang in Northeast China.

Since the 1980s, Oroqen-language materials were produced by teachers in Oroqen-speaking areas. They based the language's orthography either on IPA or Pinyin - before then, the language was unwritten. In spite of this, the majority of the Oroqen are capable of reading and writing Chinese and some can also speak the Daur language.

Geographic distribution[edit]

Oroqen is spoken in the following counties of China (Ethnologue).


The Gankui dialect is used as the standard dialect for the Oroqen language.



Bilabial Alveolar Post-
Velar Glottal
Plosive voiceless p t k
voiced b d ɡ
Affricate voiceless t͡ʃ
voiced d͡ʒ
Fricative ɸ ʃ x [ɣ] [h]
Nasal m n ɲ ŋ
Lateral l
Rhotic r
Approximant j w
  • Allophones of /x/ are heard as [ɣ], [h].
  • A bilabial /ɸ/ can also be heard as a labio-dental [f].
  • A rhotic trill /r/ tends to sound as a tap [ɾ], when occurring word-finally.


Front Central Back
High i iː y u uː
Near-high ɪ ɪː ʊ ʊː
High-mid ə əː o oː
Low-mid ɛː ɔ ɔː
Low ɑ ɑː
  • /ə, əː/ are often heard as lower sounds [ɐ, ɐː].
  • Short allophones of /o, u/ are heard as [ɵ, ʉ].[4]


  1. ^ "Oroqen". Ethnologue. Retrieved 2018-05-07.
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Oroqen". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ Raymond G. Gordon Jr., ed. 2005, Ethnologue: Languages of the World. 15th edition. Dallas Summer Institute of Linguistics.
  4. ^ Hu, Zengyi (1986). Elunchun-yu jianzhi [Concise grammar of Oroqen]. Beijing: National Minorities Publ. pp. 3–19.

External links[edit]