Query: Chinese/Vietnamese script

David Gil gil at EVA.MPG.DE
Sat Jan 1 12:01:54 UTC 2005

I'm seeking help identifying the script/language in some manuscripts
that can be viewed at the following website:


To a non-specialist, it looks like Chinese.  However, when I purchased
these manuscripts last month in Hanoi, the shopkeeper/antiquarian told
me that they were "Vietnamese, not Chinese".  Trouble is, people will
say whatever they think will fetch a higher price, which is why I'm
seeking a non-biased opinion.

My question therefore is whether there is anything visible in the
manuscripts that is indentifiable as non-Chinese, and/or specifically as
Vietnamese.  Is the actual script different?  Or does the script clearly
represent a non-Chinese language such as Vietnamese?

David Gil

[currently in Indonesia]

Department of Linguistics
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Deutscher Platz 6, D-04103 Leipzig, Germany

Telephone: 49-341-3550321
Fax: 49-341-3550119
Email: gil at eva.mpg.de
Webpage:  http://monolith.eva.mpg.de/~gil/

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