Writing Chinese in Tibetan: On the Alternatives for an Wutun Orthography. Proceedings of the SCRIPTA 2008, Seoul, Oct . 8~12, 2008



Wutun is a distinct local form of Northwest Mandarin spoken in a restricted locality in rural Qinghai Province, P.R. China. Although genetically a Sinitic language, Wutun has developed under strong structural influence of Amdo Tibetan, which is the second language of virtually all Wutun speakers. Wutun remains an unwritten language, but for practical and linguistic purposes there is a growing need to record Wutun language material in writing. For this aim, adaptations of the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) as well as the Chinese Pinyin system have been applied, but due to the Tibetan conventions of writing and reading Tibetan. The present paper will discuss the prospects of this option.