Thanks, but no that is not possible. Ibus is not accessible, so I can't adjust the preferences that way.
What I've done is uninstall everything connected with ibus, then reinstalled. Some older language choices were removed. Now it works again. I think the people at Ubuntu have changed things, but forgot to mention it. Now I can choose Sunpinyin. pinyin has gone. Probably there was a clash of libraries or whatever, I'm no expert. Languages has also disappeared from System Settings. Anyway, it works again. Time for bed, see if it works tomorrow morning!!