The documentation on Gelong will be based on an extensive list of lexical items and grammatical structures with an aim of determining the roles Chinese and Li played in the formation of Gelong. In addition, this project will solicit linguistic data from native speakers of different generations in order to observe ongoing linguistic changes in the language and to work out the mechanism and factors contributing to these changes.
The study on language shift and language loss as a consequence of rapid urbanization will be based on the proven sociolinguistic technique, a 69-key-item questionnaire designed and used by the project team in their previous studies in Sanya and Guangxi. The degree of language shift and language loss will be measured by the relative usage of different languages (such as Putonghua, Gelong, and other local dialects) in three major domains: family, school, and social environments. The results can then be compared against those obtained in other multilingual communities, such as Guangxi and Sanya.