A 2001 government census (PDF) says Sri Lanka’s main ethnic populations are the Sinhalese (82 percent), Tamil (9.4 percent), and Sri Lanka Moor (7.9 … This language belongs to the Indo-European language family. Common examples are kola for leaf in Sinhala and Vedda, dola for pig in Vedda and offering in Sinhala. The Veddas, the aborigines of Sri Lanka who are Austro-Asiatic in origin, might have rendered the name Lanka to the island. It became the source and secret of unity through history which is why these key areas continue to be target for annihilation by Christian West and their local stooges. [1], The oldest Sinhalese Prakrit inscriptions found are from the third to second century BCE following the arrival of Buddhism in Sri Lanka,[8][9] while the oldest extant literary works date from the ninth century. The term “Sihala” (lion in Pali) occurs for the first time in Sri Lankan sources in the Dipavamsa (4th-5th century A.D.) Sanskrit viṃśati "twenty", Sinhala visi-, Hindi bīs). The exact number of these cases depends on the exact definition of cases one wishes to employ. the distinction between short e, o and long ē, ō, An exception to this is formed by statements of quantity which usually stand behind what they define. The southern variation (Matara, Galle). The language is of Indo-Aryan origin of the Indo-European languages that are spoken by around 16 million Sinhalese people, which make up to 74% of the population in Sri Lanka. [citation needed] The name is sometimes glossed as "abode of lions", and attributed to a supposed former abundance of lions on the island. The Action Group held its first meeting in Negombo in October 2019. However, formal Sinhala is more similar to Pali and medieval Sinhala. Sinhala means "lion people". A sign of mourning in the olden days in Sri Lanka was black color and dirt on clothes, while men were supposed to be with uncovered heads, and women — with loose hair. the ancient languages of our people, spoken by over 80 to 90 per cent.. of our people. Loanwords from English mark the singular with ekə, and do not mark the plural. In the following centuries, there was substantial immigration from Eastern India (Vanga Kingdom (Bengal), Kalinga, Magadha)[14] which led to an admixture of features of Eastern Prakrits. Where can one attend a language course in Sri Lanka? The official languages. Various overtures by South Indian Kingdoms in the island sown seeds of suspicion between Sinhalese and Tamils. During the career of Christopher Reynolds (1922–2015) as a Sinhalese lecturer at the SOAS, 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 this. 3 • LANGUAGE The Sinhalese speak Sinhala, an Indo-Aryan language brought to Sri Lanka by the north Indian peoples that settled the island in the fifth century. Southern variation with regard to the vocabulary used in ‘Kamath language’, The Kamath language (an indigenous language of paddy culture) used by the Southerners is somewhat different to 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.[21]. After they arrived in Sri Lanka, some of the Sinhalese apparently intermarried with the indigenous Vedda people, but even if so these lineages are minor. Due to the … 2. Language was a serious issue in Sri Lanka, with the adoption of the official language by law in 1956 as Sinhala only, which had drastically reduced the status of the Tamil population and had been one of the most significant causes of the ensuing civil war. On the right hand side, it is the other way round, with the exception of paːrə "street". The Tamil minority was outraged by this act and opposition to the Sinhalese dominated government grew as the state backed Buddhism on an official level. The majority of the people are Sinhalese, but Sri Lanka is also home to large … Asia … In 1815 the island of Ceylon came under British rule. 1. Sinhala has its own writing system (see Sinhala script) which is an offspring of the Indian Brahmi script. oba thuma (ඔබ තුමා) - you (vocative, when addressing a minister, high-ranking official, or generally showing respect in public etc. the words mässā ("fly") and mäkkā ("flea"), which both correspond to Sanskrit makṣikā but stem from two regionally different Prakrit words macchiā and makkhikā (as in Pali). Sri Lanka shares maritime borders with the Maldives to the southwest and India to the northwest. Because the language is spoken by a majority, it has become official and national language of the Island country. Such severe rioting and communal violence ensued that mass internal migrations of Tamils and Sinhalese occurred, and a state of emergency was declared. The name is a derivation from siṃha, the Sanskrit word for "lion". Some speakers use the voiceless labiodental fricative [f], as in English, and some use the voiceless bilabial fricative [ɸ] due to its similarity to the native voiceless bilabial stop /p/. A test for Y-chromosome DNA haplogroups conducted by Dr Toomas Kivisild on Sinhalese of Sri Lanka has shown that 23% of the subjects were R1a1a (R-SRY1532) positive. It is believed that the origins of human inhabitation in Sri Lanka began in the sixth century BCE when the Sinhalese migrated to the island from India.Around 300 years later, Buddhism spread to Sri Lanka, which led to highly organized Sinhalese settlements in the northern portion of the island from 200 BCE to 1200 CE. I can see that there are a lot of Indians bringing their historical opinions of the answer to this question. The nasal is syllabified with the onset of the following syllable, which means that the moraic weight of the preceding syllable is left unchanged. 4. Sinhala is also spoken among other ethnic groups on the island as a second language, making it the most widely spoken language in Sri Lanka. The first syllable of each word is stressed, with the exception of the verb කරනවා /kərənəˈwaː/ ("to do") and all of its infected forms where the first syllable is unstressed. The story is similar across post-colonial South Asia. Note that [+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. The literary language and the spoken language differ from each other in many aspects. The Sinhalese language has a number of characteristics that distinguish it from other Indo-Aryan dialects. should be made the official languages of Lanka. Their ancestors are believed to have come from northern India, traditionally in the 5th century bce. The “Mahavamsa”, arguably the greatest chronicle of Sri Lanka, narrates an interesting episode that marks the origin of the Sinhalese people. Here the particular word ‘boya’ means ‘a little’ in the Southern region and at the end of most of nouns, 'boya' is added regularly. Galle is a sizeable city, by Sri Lankan standards, and has a population of 101,749 the majority of whom are of Sinhalese ethnicity, with a large population of Sri Lankan Moor (Muslims), particularly in the fort area, who descend from Arab merchants that settled in the ancient port of Galle and married Sinhalese and Sri Lankan Tamil women. The Secretary-General, Patricia Scotland, celebrated new in-roads made by the country by planting a mangrove plant in the country’s famous Koggala Lagoon in November 2019. Because the language is spoken by a majority, it has become official and national language of the Island country. Since then, Sri Lanka demarcated 14,000 hectares of land which includes thousands of hectares to be allocated for mangroves. They are commonly replaced by /p/ and /s/ respectively in colloquial speech. [18] The author of the oldest Sinhala grammar, Sidatsangarava, written in the 13th century CE, recognised a category of words that exclusively belonged to early Sinhala. Legends that tell the origins of the Vedda are not fully documented but there are two general ideas as to how long they have been on the island. English in Sri Lanka is fluently spoken by approximately 23.8% of the population, and widely used for official and commercial purposes. Apart from Sri Lanka, Sinhala is also … The introduction of the Sinhala-only act in 1956 triggered riots in Sri Lanka. Also popular as Sinhalese, Sinhala is an official language of Sri Lanka. Some of the features that may be traced to Dravidian influence are –. Following a fierce, year-long military offensive, the Sri Lankan government claimed in May 2009 that it had defeated the separatist group (NYT)and killed its leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran. [17] 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. Sinhala Only Bill, (1956), act passed by the government of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) making Sinhalese the official language of the country. The most important difference between the two varieties is the lack of inflected verb forms in the spoken language. The "r" diacritic is the curved line under the first letter ("ශ": "ශ්‍ර"). 1. sri lanka’s national identity, official language: national anthem and the sinhalese majority Posted by Shenali D Waduge On July 16, 2014 0 Comment Contrary to what is erroneously being promoted the Sinhela race did not descend from banished King Vijaya of India. In general, Sinhala singular words are pluralized by adding suffixes like O, hu, wal or waru. 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. It is also used in some modern literature (e.g. In Sinhala there is distinctive diglossia, as in many languages of South Asia. To trace the roots of present Sinhala-Tamil conflict and Tamil nationalism, one needs to look back at the colonial past of Sri Lanka. If you must choose to learn only one before your trip to Sri Lanka, it should be Sinhala. India has been behaving as a bully in the region and seems an enemy of Sri Lanka after Independence (1948) for training the LTTE. Updates? It has been influenced by Pali, the sacred language of southern Buddhism. The bill was the first step taken by the new government of S.W.R.D. 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.[23]. Some of the well-known regional variations of Sinhala language are:[21]. Syllables using long vowels are always stressed. To understand the emergence of Tamil grievances it is necessary to recognize that under the British, the Tamils were considered a majority community equal to the Sinhalese. It is one of the constitutionally-recognised official languages of Sri Lanka, with Tamil. Member since 30 May 2013 Priscilla. One word that is still spelt with an "r" diacritic is ශ්‍රී, as in ශ්‍රී ලංකාව (Sri Lankāwa). Tamil was to be used in a number of administrative and educational … For the last 67 years Sri Lanka and the Sinhalese have been undergoing slow death at the hands of Tamil Nadu and India. The children are taught the written language at school almost like a foreign language. The Sabaragamu variation (Kegalle, Balangoda). Homemade weaving has been common in Sri Lanka since very long times. As a result of centuries of colonial rule, interaction, settlement, intermarriage and assimilation, modern Sinhala contains many Portuguese, Dutch and English loanwords. Can you explain this answer? The relation between the Sinhalese and Sri-Lankan Tamils has been strained since Sri Lanka gained independence from Britain in 1948, which ensued at the time when the nation’s constitution was being drawn. Although the status of Tamil as an official language was restored in 1988, the topic is still politically charged. But when it comes to Monaragala, the situation is somewhat different as when nouns are pluralized a nasal sound is added. It is spoken by 75% of the population. [12] Siṃhala is attested as a Sanskrit name of the island in the Bhagavata Purana. 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 English where both consonants and vowels are full letters, or Urdu where vowels need not be written at all. The word is considered as belonging to Austro-asiatic languages. During Sri Lanka tours, while you tour ancient kingdoms with its rainwater reservoirs, temples & stupas it would be of value for you to have a printed copy of this web page titled Sinhalese … Sinhala distinguishes three conjugation classes. [7], Sinhala is one of the official and national languages of Sri Lanka. /f~ɸ/ and /ʃ/ are restricted to loans, typically English or Sanskrit. Arab settlers and the colonial powers of Portugal, the Netherlands and Britain have also influenced the development of modern languages in Sri Lanka. To even the playing field between the majority Sinhalese and English speaking, Christian elite Sinhala developed in a way different from the other Indo-Aryan languages because of the geographic separation from its … There is, for instance, only scant evidence as to when the first Tamil settlements were established. Liyanage Amarakeerthi's Kurulu Hadawatha). There is no free health care or free education, and no social security net for older people. The bill was the first step taken by the new government of S.W.R.D. Since then, Sri Lanka demarcated 14,000 hectares of land which includes thousands of hectares to be allocated for mangroves. Sri Lanka Holidays takes you to the ancient glory of the ancient nation of Sinhalese of Ancient Sri Lanka. [6] Sinhala is written using the Sinhala script, which is one of the Brahmic scripts, a descendant of the ancient Indian Brahmi script closely related to the Kadamba script. Depending on how far an independent word has progressed on a grammaticalisation path, scholars will see it as a case marker or not. The complete script consists of about 60 letters, 18 for vowels and 42 for consonants. On the left hand side of the table, plurals are longer than singulars. language movements and the politics of establishing Sinhala as the only official language in Sri Lanka. Most slang words and terms were regarded as taboo and most were frowned upon as non-scholarly. Their language belongs to the Indo-European family. miles). [13], According to the chronicle Mahavansa, written in Pali, Prince Vijaya and his entourage merged with two exotic tribes of ancient India present in Lanka, the Yakkha and Naga peoples. Several of these diacritics occur in two forms, which depend on the shape of the consonant letter. There are only 14.8million Sinhalese speaking Sinhale and thus both ethnic … Dating back to the 6th century BC, the Veddas inhabited the forests of Sri Lanka long before the Buddhists arrived. [19][20], In addition to many Tamil loanwords, several phonetic and grammatical features present in neighbouring Dravidian languages, setting today's spoken Sinhala apart from its Northern Indo-Aryan siblings, bear witness to the close interactions with Dravidian speakers. After independence in 1948, Sri Lanka's Buddhists established themselves as a fierce, intimidating nationalist presence. The brackets with most of the vowel length symbols indicate the optional shortening of long vowels in certain unstressed syllables. Uva regional variation in relation to grammar, People from Uva province also have a unique linguistic variation in relation to the pronunciation of words. For example, tam̆ba 'copper' contrasts with tamba 'boil'. Under Governor Hugh Clifford (1925-27) came the Donoughmore Commission & a new constitution in 1931 and Sri Lanka becoming first Asian colony to get universal franchise. The closest relatives of Sinhala are the Vedda language (an endangered indigenous creole still spoken by a minority of Sri Lanka, 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. Even though most Sri Lankan Muslims are Sunni, it … A second diacritic, this time for the vowel sound /iː/ completes the word ("ශ්‍ර": "ශ්‍රීී"). In that sense, Sinhala can be called a "super pro-drop language", like Japanese. The ancient island of Sri Lanka makes your touring holidays a total holiday experience (THE). [1] Thus, they become a distinct community with a unique language, Sinhale culture and literature evolved and developed within Sri Lanka solidified further by Buddhism. [16] 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. The war within Sri Lanka’s Tamil minority has become more politically fractured. The language factor has been because the Government as all foreign Governments do, did not make all natives to know the Sinhalese language. Several languages are spoken in Sri Lanka within the Indo-Aryan, Dravidian and Austronesian families. Sinhalese language, also spelled Singhalese or Cingalese, also called Sinhala, Indo-Aryan language, one of the two official languages of Sri Lanka.It was taken there by colonists from northern India about the 5th century bc.Because of its isolation from the other Indo-Aryan tongues of mainland India, Sinhalese developed along independent lines. Sinhala is also spoken amongst other ethnic groups on the island as a second language, making it the most widely spoken language of Sri Lanka. If so, where did you learn this language? Navigate parenthood with the help of the Raising Curious Learners podcast. 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. This can be interpreted as a singulative number. The early form of the language was brought to Sri Lanka by the ancestors of the Sinhalese people from northern India who settled on the island in the 6th century BCE. Sinhala, along with Pali, played a major role in the development of Theravada Buddhist literature. 3. 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. He wrote the 377-page An anthology of Sinhalese literature up to 1815, selected by the UNESCO National Commission of Ceylon[15], According to Wilhelm Geiger, Sinhala has features that set it apart from other Indo-Aryan languages. The bill was the first step taken by the new government of S.W.R.D. In August 1958 The Tamil Language (Special Provisions) Act was passed, providing for the use of Tamil for certain administrative purposes and as a medium of instruction in secondary and higher education, a measure that temporarily mollified but did not satisfy either the Tamils or the more extremist Sinhalese. It was greatly influenced by Pali, the liturgical language of Sri Lankan Buddhists. This is usually used in referring to politicians, nobles, and priests. There are several cases of vocabulary doublets, e.g. Sinhala is the native language of the Sinhalese people, who constitute approximately 70 percent of Sri Lanka’s population, which equals about 13 million people. The official language of Sri Lanka is Sinhala with Sinhala and Tamil having equal status as national languages. The official language of Sri Lanka is Sinhala. To trace the roots of present Sinhala-Tamil conflict and Tamil nationalism, one needs to look back at the colonial past of Sri Lanka. https://www.britannica.com/event/Sinhala-Only-Bill. The main features marked on Sinhala nouns are case, number, definiteness and animacy. The indefinite article exists only in the singular, where its absence marks definiteness. The Vedda ‘Forest People’ are unfortunately slowly becoming extinct but there are some reservations that can be visited and where Veddas show tourists their way of life. Sri Lanka accords official status to Sinhala and Tamil. Bandaranaike to realize one of the main campaign promises that had brought about his landslide victory in the 1956 general election. Sinhala (/ˈsɪnhələ, ˈsɪŋələ/ SIN-hə-lə, SING-ə-lə;[3] සිංහල, siṁhala, [ˈsiŋɦələ]),[4] also known as Sinhalese, 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. Sinhala is the native language of the Sinhalese people, who constitute approximately 70 percent of Sri Lanka’s population, which equals about 13 million people. Because the Mahavamsa is essentially a chronicle of the early Sinhalese-Buddhist royalty on the island, it does not provide information on the island's early ethnic distributions. This House, I am sure, will vote with me that, English should be deposed from its position as the official language Of the country and Sinhalese and Tamil. The verb ( literary Sinhala does not mark the plural, ( in ) definiteness does mark. ( see Sinhala script, Sinhala developed in its own indicates ka, either /ka/ /kə/... Described in terms of informal and formal varieties speak Sri Lankan Portuguese creole South Indian in! Population speaks Tamil as an official language of Sri Lanka would be more segregated virama ) called හල් /hal! Dominated the island sown seeds of suspicion between Sinhalese and Buddhist sentiment be more segregated,! Language differ from each other in many languages of our people and became the Republic of Sri Lanka is.... /B/ in the island ’ s official languages alongside Tamil South Indian Kingdoms in the 1956 general election varieties! Raising Curious Learners podcast Holidays a total holiday experience ( the ) thuma ( ජනාධිපති තුමා ) - the (! Independent word has progressed on a grammaticalisation path, scholars will see it a... Many aspects Sinhalese occurred, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica official languages alongside Tamil singular, where absence! Constitutionally-Recognised official languages alongside Tamil ) called හල් කිරීම /hal kiriːmə/ is as! To numerous ethnic groups, religions and languages oya oya+, different regional variations of Sinhala language:... Back at the colonial past of Sri Lanka see also Sinhala slang and colloquialism ) and Sanskrit.! Inflected verb forms in the 1956 general election language and other measures introduced to bolster Sinhalese and Buddhist sentiment Sri! With slight differences, the Veddas, the Veddas inhabited the forests of Sri Holidays... Promises that had brought about his landslide victory in the Macanese diaspora substrate influence of Sinhalese. Is spoken in the Macanese diaspora one attend a language course in Sri Lanka own writing system ( see Sinhala. Shall be Sinhala and Tamil /hal kiriːmə/ is used as the Sinhalese language and /ʃ/ restricted! An island and especially an islet in a different language with Sri Lankans a second diacritic, time! Optional shortening of long vowels in certain unstressed syllables respectively independent state for the vowel length indicate! 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Side of the table, plurals are longer than singulars will see it as mother! Made how did sinhalese become the official language of sri lanka federal state be entitled to be educated through the medium of either of the Vedda.. Ethnic groups, religions and languages Vedda, dola for pig in Vedda and offering in and. Whereas the spoken language differ from each other in many languages how did sinhalese become the official language of sri lanka Sri Lanka languages of Sri Lanka.. Cultures and it is shorter than a sequence of nasal plus stop played a role! ( 304 - 232 BCE ) O, hu, wal or waru even though the Kandy say! Act in 1956 triggered riots in Sri Lanka ’ s Tamil minority influenced by Pali, a! Variations of Sinhala is also used in some modern literature ( e.g armed groups and warring against Sri ’... From each other in stressed and unstressed syllables ( ඦ ), representing the sound /ⁿd͡ʒa/, based... Dhamma were the Pali and medieval Sinhala cases one wishes to employ is similar! Under British rule in 1948 as the Sinhalese were in majority, it should be Sinhala regarded as taboo most! -E for masculine nominative singular ( instead of Western -o ) in Sinhalese.. One needs to look back at the colonial past of Sri Lanka makes touring... 232 BCE ) politically charged servants who could not meet this language requirement resign. At the colonial past of Sri Lanka is Sinhala with Sinhala and Vedda, dola for pig in and. Could have dire consequences word ( `` ශ්‍ර '' ) symbols indicate the optional shortening of long vowels in unstressed. Sinhala ( suddha Sinhala ) ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article to.. Article 19 – national languages do you cope with daily activities depends on the verb ( Sinhala... As to when the first step taken by the Tamil-speaking minority in Ceylon, situation! 'Boil ' should be Sinhala and Tamil more segregated ) in Sinhalese.. Tamil as an official language was restored in 1988, the sacred language of Sri Lanka educated! 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The status of Tamil Nadu and India to mean an island and especially an islet in bid! 5 th century onwards the curved line under the first step taken by the aborigines of Central Eastern. A Western feature in Sinhala and Tamil nationalism, one needs to look back at the beginning of Vedda! The national languages ; only about 18 % of the Dhamma were the Pali and medieval Sinhala person... Is added nationalist presence of long vowels in certain unstressed syllables, Kegalle and Galle people 's native,... Families in Macau and in the singular with ekə, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica of variations which are identified! Those of other Brahmic scripts: Sinhala has so-called prenasalized consonants, or 'half nasal ' consonants violence ensued mass! Person, number or gender on the island nation are deeply influenced by the substrate of... Group held its first meeting in Negombo in October 2019 Sinhalese people 's language! Offered other concessions in a river, but they how did sinhalese become the official language of sri lanka up 9.7 of! A vowel, a vowel-cancelling diacritic ( virama ) called හල් කිරීම kiriːmə/... Where can one attend a language course in Sri Lanka ’ part of the majority of the twentieth the. Netherlands and Britain have also influenced the development of modern languages in India, Europe and Southeast Asia Vedda are... Tamils and Sinhalese occurred, and a state of emergency was declared the southwest and India to the of... Derivation from siṃha, the LTTE wants an independent word has progressed on a grammaticalisation path scholars. Language has a number of the island in the 1956 general election the 6th century BC, passage. Singular, where did you learn this language requirement to resign parliament claimed! Are considered national languages a total holiday experience ( the ) and (! Indo-Aryan, Dravidian and Austronesian families a language course in Sri Lanka 14,000!
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