Sinhala language

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Sinhala
සිංහල siṁhala
Word Sinhala in Yasarath font.svg
Region Sri Lanka
Native speakers 16 million  (2007)[1]
Language family
Early forms:
Elu
  • Sinhala
Dialects
Vedda (perhaps a creole)
Writing system Sinhala alphabet (Brahmic)
Sinhala Braille
Official status
Official language in  Sri Lanka
Language codes
ISO 639-1 si
ISO 639-2 sin
ISO 639-3 sin

Sinhalese or Sinhala (සිංහල, ISO 15919: siṁhala, pronounced [ˈsiŋhələ], earlier referred to as Singhalese) is the language of the Sinhalese, the largest ethnic group of Sri Lanka. It belongs to the Indo-Aryan language family.

Sinhala is spoken by about 19 million people in Sri Lanka, about 16 million of them are native speakers. It is one of the constitutionally-recognised official languages of Sri Lanka, along with Tamil. Sinhala has its own writing system (see Sinhala script) which is an offspring of the Indian Brahmi script.

The oldest Sinhala inscriptions were written in the 3rd and 2nd centuries BCE; the oldest existing literary works date from the 9th century CE.

The closest relative of Sinhala is the language of the Maldives, Dhivehi.

The word order of Sinhala language is SOV (subject-object-verb) just like Japanese, Korean and many other languages in Asia. It would be easy for people from that particular language style to learn Sinhala with a little time and practice.

Ex 1 :

      I     home   go
      Mama  gedara yanawa.
      나는   집에    갑니다 (Korean)

Ex 2 :

      beautiful  dress
      Lassana    anduma
      예쁜        옷  (Korean)

Morphologically, the words are built with the stem followed by a particle. The particle can vary so that it adds more grammatical change into the word connecting it to the whole sentence.

pusa yanawa -

kitten is going.

pusath yanawa -

kitten is also going.

ballata denawa -

giving (it) to the dog

ballatath denawa

giving it to the dog as well

ballatama denawa

giving it to the dog itself.

yes, its easy if you really have a good look at these sentences. you may easily find the stem of the words- pusa, pusath, ballata, ballathath, ballatama.

pusa- is the stem of the subjectival phrase. (kitten)

Pusa + th - as well

pusa + ta - to kitty

pusa + ta + th - to kitty as well

pusa + ta + ma - to kitty itself ^^

References[change | change source]

  1. Nationalencyklopedin "Världens 100 största språk 2007" The World's 100 Largest Languages in 2007