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Sinhala language

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PronunciationIPA: [ˈsiŋɦələ]
Native toSri Lanka
SpeakersL1: 16 million (2021)[1]
L2: 2.0 million (1997)[1]
Early form
Official status
Official language in
 Sri Lanka
Language codes
ISO 639-1si
ISO 639-2sin
ISO 639-3sin

Sinhala (/ˈsɪnhələ, ˈsɪŋələ/ SIN-hə-lə, SING-ə-lə;[2] Sinhala: සිංහල, siṁhala, [ˈsiŋɦələ]),[3] sometimes called Sinhalese (/ˌsɪn(h)əˈlz, ˌsɪŋ(ɡ)əˈlz/ SIN-(h)ə-LEEZ, SING-(g)ə-LEEZ), is an Indo-Aryan language primarily spoken by the Sinhalese people of Sri Lanka, who make up the largest ethnic group on the island, numbering about 16 million.[4][1] Sinhala is also spoken as the first language by other ethnic groups in Sri Lanka, totalling about 2 million speakers as of 2001.[5] It is written using the Sinhala script, which is a Brahmic script closely related to the Grantha script of South India.[6]

Sinhala is one of the official and national languages of Sri Lanka, alongside Tamil. Along with Pali, it played a major role in the development of Theravada Buddhist literature.[1]

Early forms of the Sinhala language are attested as early as the 3rd century BCE.[7] The language of these inscriptions, still retaining long vowels and aspirated consonants, is a Prakrit similar to Magadhi, a regional associate of the Middle Indian Prakrits that had been used during the time of the Buddha.[8] The most closely related languages are the Vedda language (an endangered, indigenous creole still spoken by a minority of Sri Lankans, mixing Sinhala with an isolate of unknown origin and from which Old Sinhala borrowed various aspects into its main Indo-Aryan substrate), and the Maldivian language. It has two main varieties, written and spoken, and is a conspicuous example of the linguistic phenomenon known as diglossia.[9][10]

There are 1,500 poems written in the 6th-10th centuries on the Sigiriya Mirror Wall. These poems are believed to have been composed by pilgrims who came to visit the Buddhist monastery of Sigiriya, which was active at this time.[11]
Letters of the Sinhala script.


Sinhala (Siṃhala) is a Sanskrit term; the corresponding Middle Indo-Aryan (Eḷu) word is Sīhala. The name is a derivative of siṃha, the Sanskrit word for 'lion'.[12] The name is sometimes glossed as 'abode of lions', and attributed to a supposed former abundance of lions on the island.[13]


According to the chronicle Mahāvaṃsa, written in Pali, Prince Vijaya of the Vanga Kingdom and his entourage merged in Sri Lanka with later settlers from the Pandya kingdom.[14][15][16] In the following centuries, there was substantial immigration from Eastern India, including additional migration from the Vanga Kingdom (Bengal), as well as Kalinga and Magadha.[17] This influx led to an admixture of features of Eastern Prakrits.[citation needed]

Stages of historical development

The development of Sinhala is divided into four epochs:[18]

  • Elu Prakrit (3rd c. BCE to 4th c. CE)
  • Proto-Sinhala (4th c. CE to 8th c. CE)
  • Medieval Sinhala (8th c. CE to 13th c. CE)
  • Modern Sinhala (13th c. CE to the present)

Phonetic development

The most important phonetic developments of Sinhala include:

  • the loss of aspiration as a distinction for plosive consonants (e.g. kanavā "to eat" corresponds to Sanskrit khādati, Hindustani khānā)
  • the loss of original vowel length distinction; long vowels in the modern language are found in loanwords (e.g. vibāgaya "exam" < Sanskrit vibhāga) or as a result of sandhi, either after elision of intervocalic consonants (e.g. dānavā "to put" < damanavā) or in originally compound words.
  • the simplification of consonant clusters and geminate consonants into geminates and single consonants respectively (e.g. Sanskrit viṣṭā "time" > Sinhalese Prakrit viṭṭa > Modern Sinhala viṭa)
  • development of /tʃ/ to /s/ and/or /ɦ/ (e.g. san̆da/han̆da "moon" corresponds to Sanskrit candra) and development of /dʒ/ to /d/ (e.g. dæla "web" corresponds to Sanskrit jāla)
  • development of prenasalized consonants from Sanskrit nasal + voiced stops (see han̆da)[19]

Western vs. Eastern Prakrit features

According to Wilhelm Geiger, an example of a possible Western feature in Sinhala is the retention of initial /v/ which developed into /b/ in the Eastern languages (e.g. Sanskrit viṃśati "twenty", Sinhala visi-, Hindi bīs). This is disputed by Muhammad Shahidullah who says that Sinhala Prakrit branched off from the Eastern Prakrits prior to this change. He cites the edicts of Ashoka, no copy of which shows this sound change.[20]

An example of an Eastern feature is the ending -e for masculine nominative singular (instead of Western -o) in Sinhalese Prakrit. There are several cases of vocabulary doublets, one example being the words mæssā ("fly") and mækkā ("flea"), which both correspond to Sanskrit makṣikā but stem from two regionally different Prakrit words macchiā (Western Prakrits) and makkhikā (as in Eastern Prakrits like Pali).

Pre-1815 Sinhalese literature

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (January 2024)

In 1815, the island of Ceylon came under British rule. During the career of Christopher Reynolds as a Sinhalese lecturer at the School of African and Oriental Studies, University of London, he extensively researched the Sinhalese language and its pre-1815 literature. The Sri Lankan government awarded him the Sri Lanka Ranjana medal for his work. He wrote the 377-page An anthology of Sinhalese literature up to 1815, selected by the UNESCO National Commission of Ceylon[21]

Substratum influence in Sinhala

According to Wilhelm Geiger, Sinhala has features that set it apart from other Indo-Aryan languages. Some of the differences can be explained by the substrate influence of the parent stock of the Vedda language.[22] Sinhala has many words that are only found in Sinhala, or shared between Sinhala and Vedda and not etymologically derivable from Middle or Old Indo-Aryan. Possible examples include kola for leaf in Sinhala and Vedda (although others suggest a Dravidian origin for this word.[23][24][25]), dola for pig in Vedda and offering in Sinhala. Other common words are rera for wild duck, and gala for stones (in toponyms used throughout the island, although others have also suggested a Dravidian origin).[26][27][28] There are also high frequency words denoting body parts in Sinhala, such as olluva for head, kakula for leg, bella for neck and kalava for thighs, that are derived from pre-Sinhalese languages of Sri Lanka.[29] The oldest Sinhala grammar, Sidatsan̆garavā, written in the 13th century CE, recognised a category of words that exclusively belonged to early Sinhala. The grammar lists naram̆ba (to see) and koḷom̆ba (fort or harbour) as belonging to an indigenous source. Koḷom̆ba is the source of the name of the commercial capital Colombo.[30][31]

South Dravidian substratum influence

The consistent left branching syntax and the loss of aspirated stops in Sinhala is attributed to a probable South Dravidian substratum effect.[32] This has been explained by a period of prior bilingualism:

"The earliest type of contact in Sri Lanka, not considering the aboriginal Vedda languages, was that which occurred between South Dravidian and Sinhala. It seems plausible to assume prolonged contact between these two populations as well as a high degree of bilingualism. This explains why Sinhala looks deeply South Dravidian for an Indo-Aryan language. There is corroboration in genetic findings."[33]

Influences from neighbouring languages

In addition to many Tamil loanwords, several phonetic and grammatical features also present in neighbouring Dravidian languages set modern spoken Sinhala apart from its Northern Indo-Aryan relatives. These features are evidence of close interactions with Dravidian speakers. Some of the features that may be traced to Dravidian influence are:

  • the loss of aspiration
  • the use of the attributive verb of kiyana "to say" as a subordinating conjunction with the meanings "that" and "if", e.g.:
















ඒක අලුත් කියලා මම දන්නවා

ēka aḷut kiyalā mama dannavā

it new having-said I know

"I know that it is new."





















ඒක අලුත් ද කියලා මම දන්නේ නැහැ

ēka aḷut da kiyalā mama dannē næhæ

it new Q having-said I know-EMP not

"I do not know whether it is new."

European influence

As a result of centuries of colonial rule, interaction, settlement, intermarriage and assimilation, modern Sinhala contains many Portuguese, Dutch and English loanwords.

Influences on other languages

Macanese Patois or Macau Creole (known as Patuá to its speakers) is a creole language derived mainly from Malay, Sinhala, Cantonese, and Portuguese, which was originally spoken by the Macanese people of the Portuguese colony of Macau. It is now spoken by a few families in Macau and in the Macanese diaspora.[citation needed]

The language developed first mainly among the descendants of Portuguese settlers who often married women from Malacca and Sri Lanka rather than from neighbouring China, so the language had strong Malay and Sinhala influence from the beginning.

Accents and dialects

The Sinhala language has different types of variations which are commonly identified as 'dialects and accents'. Among those variations, 'regional variations' are prominent. Some of the well-known regional variations of Sinhala language are:[34]

  1. The Uva Province variation (Monaragala, Badulla).
  2. The southern variation (Matara, Galle).
  3. The up-country variation (Kandy, Matale).
  4. The Sabaragamu variation (Kegalle, Balangoda).

Uva regional variation in relation to grammar

People from Uva province also have a unique linguistic variation in relation to the pronunciation of words. In general, Sinhala singular words are pluralized by adding suffixes like O, hu, wal or waru. But when it comes to Monaragala, the situation is somewhat different as when nouns are pluralized a nasal sound is added.[34]

General way of pluralizing Sinhala words The way Uva people pluralize words







kàntawǝ kantàwò

ǝ ò

woman women







lindha lindha+n

{} lindhan

well wells







potǝ pot

ǝ Ø

book books







oya oya+n

{} oyan

stream streams





+ wal


lindhǝ lindhǝ+wal

ǝ {+ wal}

well wells

Southern variation

The Kamath language (an indigenous language of paddy culture) used by the Southerners is somewhat different from the 'Kamath language' used in other parts (Uva, Kandy) of Sri Lanka as it is marked with a systematic variation; 'boya' at the end of the majority of nouns as the examples below show.[34]

Crops: Kurakkan boya (bran)
           Rambakan boya (banana)
Tools: Thattu boya (bucket)
Other words: Nivahan boya (home)

Here the particular word 'boya' means 'a little' in the Southern region and at the end of most of nouns, 'boya' is added regularly. This particular word 'boya' is added to most words by the Southern villages as a token of respect towards the things (those things can be crops, tools etc.) they are referring to.

Kandy, Kegalle and Galle people

The contrast among the regional variations used by Kandy, Kegalle and Galle people in relation to pronunciation[34]
The common Sinhala variation Different regional variations of Sinhala language Notes
Ayye heta wapuranna enwada?

(Elder Brother, Are you coming to sow tomorrow?)

Ayya heta wapuranta enawada? (Kandy)

Ayye heta wapuranda enawada? (Kegalle)

Ayye heta wapuranna enawai? (Galle)

Here the Kandy people say 'Ayya' while the Kegalle and Galle people say 'Ayye'.

Also, Kandy people add a 'ta' sound at the end of verbs while the Kegalle people add a 'da' sound. But Galle people's regional variation is not visible in relation to this particular verb; 'wapuranawa' (to sow). Yet their unique regional variation is visible in relation to the second verb which is 'enawai' (coming) as they add 'ai' at the end of most verbs.

Even though the Kandy, Kegalle and Galle people pronounce words with slight differences, the Sinhalese can understand the majority of the sentences.


In Sinhala there is distinctive diglossia, as in many languages of South Asia. The literary language and the spoken language differ from each other in many aspects. The written language is used for all forms of literary texts but also orally at formal occasions (public speeches, TV and radio news broadcasts, etc.), whereas the spoken language is used as the language of communication in everyday life (see also Sinhala slang and colloquialism). As a rule, the literary language uses more Sanskrit-based words.

Sinhala diglossia can also be described in terms of informal and formal varieties. The variety used for formal purposes is closer to the written/literary variety, whereas the variety used for informal purposes is closer to the spoken variety. It is also used in some modern literature (e.g. Liyanage Amarakeerthi's Kurulu Hadawatha).

The most important difference between the two varieties is the lack of inflected verb forms in the spoken language.

Sinhala also has diverse slang. Most slang words and terms were regarded as taboo, and most were frowned upon as non-scholarly. However, nowadays Sinhala slang words and terms, even the ones with sexual references, are commonly used among younger Sri Lankans.

Writing system

ආයුබෝවන් (āyubōvan) means "welcome", literally wishing one a long life

The Sinhala script, Sinhala hodiya, is based on the ancient Brahmi script, as are most Indian scripts. The Sinhala script is closely related to South Indian Grantha script and Khmer script taken the elements from the related Kadamba script.[35][6]

The writing system for Sinhala is an abugida, where the consonants are written with letters while the vowels are indicated with diacritics (pilla) on those consonants, unlike alphabets like English where both consonants and vowels are full letters, or abjads like Urdu where vowels need not be written at all. Also, when a diacritic is not used, an "inherent vowel", either /a/ or /ə/, is understood, depending on the position of the consonant within the word. For example, the letter ක k on its own indicates ka, realized as /ka/ in stressed syllables and /kə/ in unstressed syllables. The other monophthong vowels are written: කා /kaː/, කැ /kæ/, and කෑ /kæː/ (after the consonant); කි /ki/ and කී /kiː/ (above the consonant); කු /ku/ and කූ /kuː/ (below the consonant); කෙ /ke/ and කේ /keː/ (before the consonant); and lastly, කො /ko/ and කෝ /koː/ (surrounding the consonant). For simple /k/ without a following vowel, a vowel-cancelling diacritic called හල් කිරීම (/hal kiriːmə/, hal kirima) is used, creating ක් /k/.

There are also a few diacritics for consonants, such as /r/ in special circumstances, although the tendency now is to spell words with the full letter ර /r/, with a hal kirima on whichever consonant has no vowel following it. One word that is still spelt with an "r" diacritic is ශ්‍රී, as in ශ්‍රී ලංකාව (Śri Lankāwa). The "r" diacritic is the curved line under the first letter ("ශ" → "ශ්‍ර"). A second diacritic representing the vowel sound /iː/ completes the word ("ශ්‍ර" → "ශ්‍රී").

Several of these diacritics occur in two or more forms, and the form used depends on the shape of the consonant letter. Vowels also have independent letters, but these are only used at the beginning of words where there is no preceding consonant to add a diacritic to.

The complete script consists of about 60 letters, 18 for vowels and 42 for consonants. However, only 57 (16 vowels and 41 consonants) are required for writing colloquial spoken Sinhala (suddha Sinhala).[citation needed] The rest indicate sounds that have been merged in the course of linguistic change, such as the aspirates, and are restricted to Sanskrit and Pali loan words. One letter (), representing the sound /ⁿd͡ʒa/, is attested in the script, although only a few words using this letter are known (වෑංඦන, ඉඦූ).

The Sinhala script is written from left to right, and is mainly used for Sinhala. It is also used for the liturgical languages Pali and Sanskrit, which are important in Buddhism and academic works. The alphabetic sequence is similar to those of other Brahmic scripts:

a/ā æ/ǣ i/ī u/ū [ŗ] e/ē [ai] o/ō [au] k [kh] g [gh] ṅ c [ch] j [jh] [ñ] ṭ [ṭh] ḍ [ḍh] [ṇ] t [th] d [dh] n p [ph] b [bh] m y r l v [ś ṣ] s h [ḷ] f


Sinhala vowel chart, from Perera & Jones (1919:5)

Sinhala has so-called prenasalized consonants, or 'half nasal' consonants. A short homorganic nasal occurs before a voiced stop, it is shorter than a sequence of nasal plus stop. The nasal is syllabified with the onset of the following syllable, which means that the moraic weight of the preceding syllable is left unchanged. For example, tam̆ba 'copper' contrasts with tamba 'boil'.

External audio
audio icon "The Sound of the Sinhala language" (ILoveLanguages!)
Labial Dental/
Retroflex Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n ɲ ŋ
voiceless p t ʈ k
voiced b d ɖ ɡ
prenasalised ᵐb ⁿd ᶯɖ (ⁿdʒ) ᵑɡ
Fricative (f~ɸ) s (ʃ) h
Trill r
Approximant ʋ l j

/f~ɸ/ and /ʃ/ are restricted to loans, typically for English. They are commonly sometimes replaced by /p/ and /s/ respectively. Some speakers use [f], as in English, and some use [ɸ] due to its similarity to the native /p/.

Front Central Back
short long short long short long
Close i u
Mid e ə (əː) o
Open æ æː a

Long /əː/ is restricted to English loans. /a/ and /ə/ are allophones in Sinhala and contrast with each other in stressed and unstressed syllables respectively. In writing, /a/ and /ə/ are both spelt without a vowel sign attached to the consonant letter, so the patterns of stress in the language must be used to determine the correct pronunciation. Most Sinhala syllables are of the form CV. The first syllable of each word is stressed, with the exception of the verb කරනවා /kərənəˈwaː/ ("to do") and all of its inflected forms where the first syllable is unstressed. Syllables using long vowels are always stressed. The remainder of the syllables are unstressed if they use a short vowel, unless they are immediately followed by one of: a CCV syllable, final /j(i)/ (-යි), final /wu/ (-වු), or a final consonant without a following vowel. The sound /ha/ is always stressed in nouns, adjectives, and adverbs, and so is not pronounced /hə/ except in the word හතලිහ /ˈhat̪əlihə/ ("forty"), where the initial /ha/ is stressed and the final /hə/ is unstressed.[36]


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Nominal morphology

The main features marked on Sinhala nouns are case, number, definiteness and animacy.


Sinhala distinguishes several cases. The five primary cases are the nominative, accusative, dative, genitive, and ablative. Some scholars also suggest that it has a locative and instrumental case. However, for inanimate nouns the locative and genitive, and instrumental and ablative, are identical. In addition, for animate nouns these cases formed by placing atiŋ ("with the hand") and laᵑgə ("near") directly after the nominative.

The brackets with most of the vowel length symbols indicate the optional shortening of long vowels in certain unstressed syllables.

animate inanimate
singular plural singular plural
nominative miniha(ː) minissu potə pot
accusative miniha(ː)və minissu(nvə)
dative miniha(ː)ʈə minissu(ɳ)ʈə potəʈə potvələʈə
genitive miniha(ː)ge(ː) minissu(ŋ)ge(ː) pote(ː) potvələ
locative miniha(ː) laᵑgə minissu(n) laᵑgə
ablative miniha(ː)geŋ minissu(n)geŋ poteŋ potvaliŋ
instrumental miniha(ː) atiŋ minissu(n) atiŋ
vocative miniho(ː) minissuneː - -
Gloss 'man' 'men' 'book' 'books'

Number marking

Forming plurals in Sinhala is unpredictable. In Sinhala animate nouns, the plural is marked with -o(ː), a long consonant plus -u, or with -la(ː). Most inanimates mark the plural through disfixation. Loanwords from English mark the singular with ekə, and do not mark the plural. This can be interpreted as a singulative number.

SG ammaː deviyaː horaː potə reddə kantoːruvə satiyə bus ekə paːrə
PL amməla(ː) deviyo(ː) horu pot redi kantoːru sati bus paːrəval
Gloss 'mother(s)' 'god(s)' 'thie(f/ves)' 'book(s)' 'cloth(es)' 'office(s)' 'week(s)' 'bus(es)' 'street(s)'

On the left hand side of the table, plurals are longer than singulars. On the right hand side, it is the other way round, with the exception of paːrə "street". [+Animate] lexemes are mostly in the classes on the left-hand side, while [-animate] lexemes are most often in the classes on the right hand.

Indefinite article

The indefinite article is -ek for animates and -ak for inanimates. The indefinite article exists only in the singular, where its absence marks definiteness. In the plural, (in)definiteness does not receive special marking.

Verbal morphology

Sinhala distinguishes three conjugation classes. Spoken Sinhala does not mark person, number or gender on the verb (literary Sinhala does). In other words, there is no subject–verb agreement.

1st class 2nd class 3rd class
verb verbal adjective verb verbal adjective verb verbal adjective
present (future) kanəvaː kanə arinəvaː arinə pipenəvaː pipenə
past kæːvaː kæːvə æriyaː æriyə pipunaː pipunə
anterior kaːlaː kaːpu ærəlaː ærəpu pipilaː pipicca
simultaneous kanə kanə / ka kaa(spoken) arinə arinə / æra æra(spoken) pipenə pipenə/ pipi pipi(spoken)
infinitive kannə/kanḍə arinnə/arinḍə pipennə/pipenḍə
emphatic form kanneː arinneː pipenneː
gloss eat open blossom


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  • Left-branching language (see branching), which means that determining elements are usually put in front of what they determine (see example below).
  • An exception to this is formed by statements of quantity which usually stand behind what they define.







මල් හතර

/mal hatərə/

flowers four

"the four flowers"
(it can be argued that the numeral is the head in this construction, and the flowers the modifier, so that a more literal English rendering would be "a floral foursome")








පොත යට

/potə jaʈə/

book under

"under the book"

  • Sinhala has no copula. There are two existential verbs, which are used for locative predications, but these verbs are not used for predications of class-membership or property-assignment, unlike English is.







මම පොහොසත්

/mamə poːsat/

I rich

"I am rich"











පොත් ලියන මිනිසා

/pot liənə minisa/

books writing man

"The man who writes books"


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There is a four-way deictic system (which is rare): There are four demonstrative stems (see demonstrative pronouns):

  1. මේ /meː/ "here, close to the speaker"
  2. /oː/ "there, close to the person addressed"
  3. අර /arə/ "there, close to a third person, visible"
  4. /eː/ "there, close to a third person, not visible"

Use of තුමා (thuma)

Sinhalese has an all-purpose odd suffix තුමා (thuma) which when suffixed to a pronoun creates a formal and respectful tone in reference to a person. This is usually used in referring to politicians, nobles, and priests.

e.g. oba thuma (ඔබ තුමා) - you (vocative, when addressing a minister, high-ranking official, or generally showing respect in public etc.)






ජනාධිපති තුමා

janadhipathi thuma

the president (third person)


Sinhala is a pro-drop language: Arguments of a sentence can be omitted when they can be inferred from context. This is true for subject—as in Italian, for instance—but also objects and other parts of the sentence can be "dropped" in Sinhala if they can be inferred. In that sense, Sinhala can be called a "super pro-drop language", like Japanese.








කොහෙද ගියේ

koɦedə ɡie

where went

can mean "where did I/you/he/she/we... go"

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Sinhala at Ethnologue (27th ed., 2024) Closed access icon
  2. ^ Wells, John C. (2008). Longman Pronunciation Dictionary (3rd ed.). Longman. ISBN 978-1-4058-8118-0.
  3. ^ Laurie Bauer, 2007, The Linguistics Student's Handbook
  4. ^ "Census of Population and Housing 2011". Archived from the original on 28 April 2017. Retrieved 6 April 2017.
  5. ^ "Census of Population and Housing 2001" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 July 2022. Retrieved 16 November 2013.
  6. ^ a b Jayarajan, Paul M. (1 January 1976). History of the Evolution of the Sinhala Alphabet. Colombo Apothecaries' Company, Limited.
  7. ^ Prof. Senarat Paranavithana (1970), Inscriptions of Ceylon Volume I – Early Brāhmī Inscriptions
  8. ^ Dias, Malini (2020). The language of the Early Brahmi inscriptions of Sri Lanka# Epigraphical Notes Nos.22-23. Department of Archaeology. pp. 12–19. ISBN 978-955-7457-30-7.
  9. ^ Paolillo, John C. (1997). "Sinhala Diglossia: Discrete or Continuous Variation?". Language in Society. 26 (2): 269–296. doi:10.1017/S0047404500020935. ISSN 0047-4045. JSTOR 4168764. S2CID 144123299.
  10. ^ Gair, James W. (1968). "Sinhalese Diglossia". Anthropological Linguistics. 10 (8): 1–15. ISSN 0003-5483. JSTOR 30029181.
  11. ^ "Sigiri Graffiti: poetry on the mirror-wall". Lanka Library. Retrieved 15 January 2023.
  12. ^ Caldwell, Robert (1875), A comparative grammar of the Dravidian or South-Indian Family of Languages, London: Trübner & Co., p. 86
  13. ^ The Asiatic Journal and Monthly Register for British and Foreign India, China, and Australia. Vol. 20. Parbury, Allen, and Company. 1836. p. 30.
  14. ^ "The Coming of Vijaya". The Mahavamsa. 8 October 2011.
  15. ^ "The Consecrating of Vijaya - the island of Lanka - Kuvani". The Mahavamsa. 8 October 2011. Archived from the original on 20 June 2023.
  16. ^ Gananath Obeyesekere, "Buddhism, ethnicity and Identity: A problem of Buddhist History", in Journal of Buddhist Ethics, 10, (2003): 46.
  17. ^ "Sri Lanka: A Short History of Sinhala Language". WWW Virtual Library Sri Lanka. Archived from the original on 28 December 2013. Retrieved 16 November 2013.
  18. ^ Geiger, Wilhelm. "Chronological Summary of the Development of the Sinhalese Language". Zeitschrift Für Vergleichende Sprachforschung Auf Dem Gebiete Der Indogermanischen Sprachen 76, no. 1/2 (1959): 52–59. JSTOR 40848039.
  19. ^ Geiger 1938, p. 68
  20. ^ Shahidullah, Muhammad. "The Origin of the Sinhalesé Language". The Journal of the Ceylon Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain & Ireland 8, no. 1 (1962): 108–11. JSTOR 45377492.
  21. ^ Gombrich, Richard (1970). "UNESCO Collection of Representative Works, Sinhalese Series". Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies. 34 (3). London: George Allen and Unwin Limited: 623–624. doi:10.1017/S0041977X00128812.
  22. ^ Gair 1998, p. 4
  23. ^ M.H. Peter Silva, Influence of Dravida on Sinhalese, University of Oxford. Faculty of Oriental Studies 1961, Thesis (D.Phil.) p. 152
  24. ^ University of Madras Tamil Lexicon, "குழை kuḻai".
  25. ^ TamilNet, Know the Etymology: 334, Place Name of the Day: 23 March 2014, "Kola-munna, Anguna-kola-pelessa".
  26. ^ "kal (kaṟ-, kaṉ-)". A Dravidian Etymology Dictionary. Archived from the original on 2 February 2022.
  27. ^ Tuttle, Edwin H. "Dravidian Researches". The American Journal of Philology, vol. 50, no. 2, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1929, pp. 138–55, doi:10.2307/290412.
  28. ^ Van Driem 2002, p. 230
  29. ^ Indrapala 2007, p. 45
  30. ^ Indrapala 2007, p. 70
  31. ^ Gair 1998, p. 5
  32. ^ James W Gair - Sinhala, an Indo-Aryan isolate (1996) pp.5-11
  33. ^ Umberto Ansaldo, Sri Lanka and South India, The Cambridge Handbook of Areal Linguistics (2017), pp.575-585
  34. ^ a b c d Kahandgamage, Sandya (2011). Gove basa. Nugegoda: Sarasavi.
  35. ^ "Ancient Scripts: Sinhala". Retrieved 7 April 2016.
  36. ^ Silva, A.W.L. (2008). Teach Yourself Sinhalese. A.W.L. Silva. ISBN 978-955-96926-0-7.


  • Gair, James: Sinhala and Other South Asian Languages, New York 1998.
  • Indrapala, Karthigesu (2007). The evolution of an ethnic identity: The Tamils in Sri Lanka C. 300 BCE to C. 1200 CE. Colombo: Vijitha Yapa. ISBN 978-955-1266-72-1.
  • Perera, H.S.; Jones, D. (1919). A colloquial Sinhalese reader in phonetic transcription. Manchester: Longmans, Green & Co.
  • Van Driem, George (15 January 2002). Languages of the Himalayas: An Ethnolinguistic Handbook of the Greater Himalayan Region. Brill Academic Publishers. ISBN 978-90-04-10390-0.

Further reading

  • Clough, B. (1997). Sinhala English Dictionary (2nd ed.). New Delhi: Asian Educational Services.
  • Gair, James; Paolillo, John C. (1997). Sinhala. Newcastle: München.
  • Gair, James (1998). Studies in South Asian Linguistics. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-509521-0.
  • Geiger, Wilhelm (1938). A Grammar of the Sinhalese Language. Colombo.
  • Karunatillake, W.S. (1992). An Introduction to Spoken Sinhala. Colombo. [several new editions].
  • Zubair, Cala Ann (2015). "Sexual violence and the creation of an empowered female voice". Gender and Language. 9 (2): 279–317. doi:10.1558/genl.v9i2.17909. (Article on the use of slang amongst Sinhalese Raggers.)
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Sinhala language
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