It is spoken by 75% of the population. The indefinite article is -ek for animates and -ak for inanimates. To trace the roots of present Sinhala-Tamil conflict and Tamil nationalism, one needs to look back at the colonial past of Sri Lanka. Some of the features that may be traced to Dravidian influence are –. The exact number of these cases depends on the exact definition of cases one wishes to employ. Sinhala Only Bill, (1956), act passed by the government of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) making Sinhalese the official language of the country. To conciliate the Tamils, Bandaranaike made a pact with Chelvanayakam, allowing for the official use of Tamil in Tamil-speaking provinces; in April 1958, however, under pressure of Sinhalese extremists, Bandaranaike nullified this pact. Sri Lanka champions the Action Group on mangrove ecosystems and livelihoods. Because it was geographically separated from other Indo-Aryan tongues, Sinhala developed in its own way. There are also a few diacritics for consonants, such as /r/ in special circumstances, although the tendency nowadays is to spell words with the full letter ර /r/, plus either a preceding or following hal kirima. It is the native language of approximately 74,000 people, mainly in urban areas. Sinhala also has diverse slang. The up-country variation (Kandy, Matale). Administrator. Where can one attend a language course in Sri Lanka? 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. English in Sri Lanka is fluently spoken by approximately 23.8% of the population, and widely used for official and commercial purposes. Tamil was to be used in a number of administrative and educational … The word is considered as belonging to Austro-asiatic languages. [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. Violently opposed by the Tamil-speaking minority in Ceylon, the passage of the bill was followed by rioting. This can be interpreted as a singulative number. As a result of centuries of colonial rule, interaction, settlement, intermarriage and assimilation, modern Sinhala contains many Portuguese, Dutch and English loanwords. 2. Among those variations, 'regional variations' are prominent. Sinhala distinguishes three conjugation classes. There is, for instance, only scant evidence as to when the first Tamil settlements were established. It is the Sinhalese people's native language, who total approximately 16 million. Next to the cross-linguistically rather common nominative, accusative, genitive, dative and ablative, there are also less common cases like the instrumental. Even though most Sri Lankan Muslims are Sunni, it … Other minority languages are spoken by about 8% of Sri Lankans. They mandated Sinhala, the language of Sri Lanka's majority Sinhalese community spoken by over 70% of Sri Lanka's population, as the sole official language of Sri Lanka. Liyanage Amarakeerthi's Kurulu Hadawatha). The various vowels are written කා /kaː/, කැ /kæ/, කෑ /kæː/ (after the consonant), කි /ki/, කී /kiː/ (above the consonant), කු /ku/, කූ /kuː/ (below the consonant), කෙ /ke/, කේ /keː/ (before the consonant), කො /koː/, කෝ /koː/ (surrounding the consonant). [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. But much of its history has been marred by sectarian tensions. 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. Sinhala remained the official language and the language of administration throughout Sri Lanka, but Tamil was given a new "national language" status. Sinhala is the native language of the Sinhalese people, who constitute approximately 70 percent of Sri Lanka’s population, which equals approximately 13 million people. The official language of Sri Lanka is Sinhala. Their language, Sinhala, is part of the Indo-Aryan linguistic family. 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 Sabaragamu variation (Kegalle, Balangoda). For simple /k/ without a vowel, a vowel-cancelling diacritic (virama) called හල් කිරීම /hal kiriːmə/ is used: ක් /k/. In that sense, Sinhala can be called a "super pro-drop language", like Japanese. [5][1] Sinhala is also spoken as the first language by other ethnic groups in Sri Lanka, totalling about 4 million people as of 2001. A handful of the 3,400 people of Portuguese descent speak Sri Lankan Portuguese creole. It is now spoken by a few families in Macau and in the Macanese diaspora. 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. A second diacritic, this time for the vowel sound /iː/ completes the word ("ශ්‍ර": "ශ්‍රීී"). The official language of Sri Lanka is Sinhala with Sinhala and Tamil having equal status as national languages. Here the Kandy people say ‘Ayya’ while the Kegalle and Galle people say ‘Ayye’. India has been behaving as a bully in the region and seems an enemy of Sri Lanka after Independence (1948) for training the LTTE. Most inanimates mark the plural through disfixation. The term “Sihala” (lion in Pali) occurs for the first time in Sri Lankan sources in the Dipavamsa (4th-5th century A.D.) The Sinhala language has different types of variations which are commonly identified as 'dialects and accents'. Sinhalese is one of Sri Lanka’s official languages alongside Tamil. 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. Sinhala, along with Pali, played a major role in the development of Theravada Buddhist literature. Kolamba is the source of the name of the commercial capital Colombo. During your Sri Lanka Tours you will have the opportunity to visit no less than 6 World Heritage Cultural sites within 65,525 square kilometers (25,299 Sq. In general, Sinhala singular words are pluralized by adding suffixes like O, hu, wal or waru. Sinhala is a pro-drop language: Arguments of a sentence can be omitted when they can be inferred from context. 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]. Sri Lanka accords official status to Sinhala and Tamil. Sri Lanka, officially referred to as the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is an island nation located in South Asia close to south-east India. 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. The development of Sinhala is divided into four periods: The most important phonetic developments of Sinhala include. Sri Lanka Rising. Spoken Sinhala does not mark person, number or gender on the verb (literary Sinhala does). One of the official languages of Sri Lanka is Sinhalese. ), whereas the spoken language is used as the language of communication in everyday life (see also Sinhala slang and colloquialism). Other common words are rera for wild duck, and gala for stones (in toponyms used throughout the island). The official language of Sri Lanka is Sinhalese. The complete script consists of about 60 letters, 18 for vowels and 42 for consonants. 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. It is still widely used by the aborigines of Central and Eastern India to mean an island and especially an islet in a river. The indefinite article exists only in the singular, where its absence marks definiteness. Syllables using long vowels are always stressed. At the beginning of the twentieth century the blue color is fixed as the color of mourning for the Sinhalese. Sri Lanka Table of Contents. However, only 57 (16 vowels and 41 consonants) are required for writing colloquial spoken Sinhala (suddha Sinhala). Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Common examples are kola for leaf in Sinhala and Vedda, dola for pig in Vedda and offering in Sinhala. 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. they are referring to. 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. [7], Sinhala is one of the official and national languages of Sri Lanka. oba thuma (ඔබ තුමා) - you (vocative, when addressing a minister, high-ranking official, or generally showing respect in public etc. As early as 1944, politicians proposed resolutions in Parliament to declare Sinhalese the official language, while other amendments proposed both Sinhalese and Tamil as official languages. 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 bill was the first step taken by the new government of S.W.R.D. The grammar lists naramba (to see) and kolamba (fort or harbour) as belonging to an indigenous source. 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. [citation needed] The name is sometimes glossed as "abode of lions", and attributed to a supposed former abundance of lions on the island. The Questions and Answers of Which language was declared as the only official language of Sri Lanka by an Act passed in 1956?a)Tamilb)Sinhalac)Hindid)EnglishCorrect answer is option 'B'. The official religion is Buddhism, the religion of the majority of the Sinhalese population. If so, where did you learn this language? Sinhala has its own writing system (see Sinhala script) which is an offspring of the Indian Brahmi script. Several of these diacritics occur in two forms, which depend on the shape of the consonant letter. Sri Lanka’s Muslim community is spread across the country, but they make up 9.7% of the island’s population. Socialism and the best jobs were for the Sinhalese (Sinhalese became national language) Why did the gov't make the move of making Sinhalese the nation language and granting their people better jobs? They are commonly replaced by /p/ and /s/ respectively in colloquial speech. e.g. A person is be entitled to be educated through the medium of either of the national Languages. Sinhala made sole official language and other measures introduced to bolster Sinhalese and Buddhist sentiment. Sinhala developed in a way different from the other Indo-Aryan languages because of the geographic separation from its … language movements and the politics of establishing Sinhala as the only official language in Sri Lanka. 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. [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. 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.) However, nowadays Sinhala slang words and terms, even the ones with sexual references, are commonly used among younger Sri Lankans. 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 … Navigate parenthood with the help of the Raising Curious Learners podcast. 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. Some of the well-known regional variations of Sinhala language are:[21]. Sinhala evolved through the intermingling of the Tamil, Pali and Sanskrit languages. are solved by group of students and teacher of UPSC, which is also the largest student community of UPSC. The name is a derivation from siṃha, the Sanskrit word for "lion". Bandaranaike to realize one of the main campaign promises that had brought about his landslide victory in the 1956 general election. 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. The spoken legend told by the Sinhalese is that the Vedda are descendants of Pince Vijaya, who became the legendary first king of Sri Lanka. Apart from Sri Lanka, Sinhala is also … To trace the roots of present Sinhala-Tamil conflict and Tamil nationalism, one needs to look back at the colonial past of Sri Lanka. It is because Of our language that the Sinhalese race has existed for 2,400 years, and I think that, composed as we are in this House, on the eve Of freedom as a free country we should prepare for a national official language. See below for the most-spoken languages of Sri Lanka. Dating back to the 6th century BC, the Veddas inhabited the forests of Sri Lanka long before the Buddhists arrived. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Since then, Sri Lanka demarcated 14,000 hectares of land which includes thousands of hectares to be allocated for mangroves. 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 country is quite diverse with a lot of cultures and it is home to numerous ethnic groups, religions and languages. Various overtures by South Indian Kingdoms in the island sown seeds of suspicion between Sinhalese and Tamils. [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. ), janadhipathi thuma (ජනාධිපති තුමා) - the president (third person). More commonly known as the Tamil Tigers, the LTTE wants an independent state for the island’s Tamil minority. For example, the letter ක k on its own indicates ka, either /ka/ or /kə/. It is also used in some modern literature (e.g. The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) government led by Solomon Bandaranaike was sworn into office on a platform that of helping the growing population of unemployed youth who were disenfranchised by the Sinhala Official Language policy. Some of the differences can be explained by the substrate influence of the parent stock of the Vedda language. On the right hand side, it is the other way round, with the exception of paːrə "street". With an alphabet comprised of 52 letters that don't correspond at all to our latin alphabet, Sinhala is one of the country's two official languages, along with Tamil. should be made the official languages of Lanka. Also, Kandy people add a ‘ta’ sound at the end of verbs while the Kegalle people add a ‘da’ sound. 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. In 1815 the island of Ceylon came under British rule. It has been influenced by Pali, the sacred language of southern Buddhism. One word that is still spelt with an "r" diacritic is ශ්‍රී, as in ශ්‍රී ලංකාව (Sri Lankāwa). 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 … [21], (well)                          = lindhan (wells), Ø                                     ǝ, (stream)                          (streams), ǝ                                   +  wal, 2. 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. The language factor has been because the Government as all foreign Governments do, did not make all natives to know the Sinhalese language. However, formal Sinhala is more similar to Pali and medieval Sinhala. 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. Such severe rioting and communal violence ensued that mass internal migrations of Tamils and Sinhalese occurred, and a state of emergency was declared. [12] Siṃhala is attested as a Sanskrit name of the island in the Bhagavata Purana. Because the language is spoken by a majority, it has become official and national language of the Island country. There are only 14.8million Sinhalese speaking Sinhale and thus both ethnic … [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. Ashoka the Great was a patron of Buddhism, and when King Tissa of Ceylon sent an emissary to India, Ashoka seized the opportunity to put in a good word about Buddhism to the King. https://www.britannica.com/event/Sinhala-Only-Bill. Article 19 – National Languages of Sri Lanka shall be Sinhala and Tamil. Also popular as Sinhalese, Sinhala is an official language of Sri Lanka. Omissions? Most Sinhalese are agriculturalists. Chelvanayakam, pressed demands that Ceylon be made a federal state. Speaking Sinhalese in Sri Lanka Priscilla. Asia … 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. The introduction of the Sinhala-only act in 1956 triggered riots in Sri Lanka. Communal politics was such that the Sri Lankan Tamils opposed universal franchise … Most slang words and terms were regarded as taboo and most were frowned upon as non-scholarly. 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. Uva regional variation in relation to grammar, People from Uva province also have a unique linguistic variation in relation to the pronunciation of words. Lanka. 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. In other words, there is no subject–verb agreement. It is one of the constitutionally-recognised official languages of Sri Lanka, with Tamil. 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. Arab settlers and the colonial powers of Portugal, the Netherlands and Britain have also influenced the development of modern languages in Sri Lanka. 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. Sinhala Only Bill, (1956), act passed by the government of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) making Sinhalese the official language of the country. General way of pluralizing Sinhala words. There are several cases of vocabulary doublets, e.g. In Sinhala animate nouns, the plural is marked with -o(ː), a long consonant plus -u, or with -la(ː). 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. 3. For example, tam̆ba 'copper' contrasts with tamba 'boil'. "Introduction ~ හැඳින්වීම - Wikibooks, open books for an open world", "WWW Virtual Library Sri Lanka : Sri Lanka: A Short History of Sinhala Language", "UNESCO Collection of Representative Works, Sinhalese Series", Madura Online English-Sinhala Dictionary and Language Translator, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Sinhala_language&oldid=992709127, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles containing Sinhala-language text, ISO language articles citing sources other than Ethnologue, Articles with unsourced statements from May 2020, Articles with unsourced statements from April 2009, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. oya                                  oya+, Different regional variations of Sinhala language. Bandaranaike to realize one of the main campaign promises that had brought about his landslide victory in the 1956 general election. Since then, Sri Lanka demarcated 14,000 hectares of land which includes thousands of hectares to be allocated for mangroves. 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. /S/ respectively in colloquial speech and communal violence ensued that mass internal migrations of and! About his landslide victory in the singular, where its absence marks.., either /ka/ or /kə/ of a sentence can be elucidated by the substrate of! The shape of the commercial capital Colombo Sinhalese Prakrit tribe still in on... Lanka is seeing a rapid and wide spread infrastructure development within rural and urban areas letter ක k on own. 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