|Bengali script and Toto (script)|
Toto (Bengali: তোতো, Toto: ) is a Sino-Tibetan language spoken on the border of India and Bhutan, by the tribal Toto people in Totopara, West Bengal along the border with Bhutan. It is also spoken in Subhapara, Dhunchipara, and Panchayatpara hillocks on India-Bhutan border in Jalpaiguri district, West Bengal (Ethnologue).
Toto is listed as a critically endangered language by UNESCO, with perhaps 1,000 speakers. However, most families in the community speak Toto at home. Most children learn Toto at home, although they use Bengali in school.
Anthropological Survey of India (AnSI) set out to conduct a study on language of the Toto tribe, whose population has dwindled to 1,536, they did not realize that the language is more endangered than the tribe itself. Researchers as well the members of the Toto community admit that the language is under threat and the influence of other languages, particularly Nepali and Bengali, is increasing day by day.
The Himalayan Languages Project is working on the first grammatical sketch of Toto.
Toto consists of 25 segmental phonemes, of which 19 are consonants and six are vowels. The phonemes of this language are as follows:
Vowels: there are six vowel phonemes in the Toto language. They can be classified horizontally into three as front unrounded, central unrounded and back rounded vowels and vertically as close, close-mid, open-mid and open.
The following minimal pairs establish the phonetics status of the vowel:
/iŋ/ 'brother in-law'
/cewa/ 'cut' (cloth)
/lapa/ 'jungle betel leaf'
There are eight diphthongs realized in Toto. These are /ei/, /ai/, /oi/, /ui/, /əi/, /eu/, /au/ and /ou/. Diphthong /ui/ occurs in all positions, /eu/ occurs initial and medial positions, /ai/, /oi/, /əi/, and /ei/ occur medial and final positions. While /ou/ and /au/ occur only in the medial positions. Furthermore, with regard to consonants, Toto has an inventory of ten obstruents, eight of which are contrastive in voicing. Toto also distinguishes the voiceless obstruents /t/ and /p/ with its aspirated equivalents /tʰ/ and /pʰ/, respectively. 
Below are some Toto words from van Driem (1995), who uses these words to suggest that Toto may be a Sal language.
The Toto personal pronouns are (van Driem 1995):
The Toto numerals are (van Driem 1995):
|English numeral||bare stem for counting||counting humans||counting animals||inanimate objects|
|twenty||ikai||ikai cɔ||ikai pu||ikai se|
|twenty-one||ikai-so i||ikai-so iccɔ||ikai-so ippu||ikai-so icce|
|thirty||ikai-so tâ||ikai-so tâcɔ||ikai-so tâpu||ikai-so tâse|
|forty||nikai||nikai cɔ||nikai pu||nikai se|
|fifty||nikai-so tâ||nikai-so tâcɔ||nikai-so tâpu||nikai-so tâse|
|sixty||suŋkai||suŋkai cɔ||suŋkai pu||suŋkai se|
|ISO 15924||Toto (294), Toto|
An alphabetic script developed for the language by community elder and author, Dhaniram Toto, was published in 2015, and has seen limited but increasing use in literature, education, and computing; most significantly, the Toto alphabet was added to the Unicode Standard in September, 2021. Prior to the publication of this script, Dhaniram Toto and other members of the community (whose literacy rate as per sample survey carried out in 2003 was just 33.64 per cent) penned books and poems in the Bengali script.
Main article: Toto (Unicode block)
The Toto alphabet was added to the Unicode Standard in September, 2021 with the release of version 14.0.
The Unicode block for Toto is U+1E290–U+1E2BF:
Official Unicode Consortium code chart (PDF)