Buddhism and the Sinhala Writing Tradition.

Main Article Content

Ruwan Jayaweera

Abstract

Abstract

 

                   The aim  of this  Paper  is to  study the influence of Buddhism on  Sinhala language. Sinhala language has a continual history, which dates back to thousands of  years. It seems to be a language with written evidences of great history, which dates at least to the 3rd century B.C. Though several evidences  could be presented to confirm that there was a writing practice using Sinhala language (Heḷa Basa) after the arrival of Prince Vijayain  Sri Lanka that tradition developed systematically after the introduction of Buddhism as  by Venerable  Mahinda in 3rd century B.C. He acquainted a Brāhmī alphabet becomingly the Brāhmī scripts  in Asoka inscriptions to expand the writing methodology in the island. In addition  to that he translated Pali  commentaries into Sinhala and that literary activity caused to spring  a sophisticated Buddhist literature after -wards. The Brāhmīalphabet  expanded in its evolution  of  Pali and Sanskrit scripts under the influence of Buddhism in the course of the time. 

                        Though Sinhala wordstock is an interesting combination of borrowed words from various languages, it should be mentioned  that a considerable  amount of Paliand Sanskrit words  could be identified  in the  Sinhala tongue which have  entered as homogeneous or  derived words under the influence of Theravāda or Mahāyāna Buddhism. A special  attention  has been given to explore the Sinhala wordstock  which has expanded with such kind of words, as a morphological study.

                        There is a developed literary tradition in Sinhala language which possesses written  evidence  since the third century B.C. Sinhala language together with a Buddhist literary tradition evolved gradually and signs of Diglossia  began to  emerge in the course of  time. While the spoken  practice rapidly evolved by contacting with other languages as well as it developed as a living language, however writing on the other hand had barriers. As a result the difference  between the writing and speech (colloquial practice) expanded.  The Buddhist  influence  is visible explicitly not only in written Sinhala but also in colloquial Sinhala. The attempt of this article to study this language form  nourished by Buddhism comprehensively.

Keywords :- Derivation, Borrowing Homogeneous words., Derived words,  Folk Religion, Colloquial Sinhala.

 

 

 

 

                   The aim  of this  Paper  is to  study the influence of Buddhism on  Sinhala language. Sinhala language has a continual history, which dates back to thousands of  years. It seems to be a language with written evidences of great history, which dates at least to the 3rd century B.C. Though several evidences  could be presented to confirm that there was a writing practice using Sinhala language (Heḷa Basa) after the arrival of Prince Vijayain  Sri Lanka that tradition developed systematically after the introduction of Buddhism as  by Venerable  Mahinda in 3rd century B.C. He acquainted a Brāhmī alphabet becomingly the Brāhmī scripts  in Asoka inscriptions to expand the writing methodology in the island. In addition  to that he translated Pali  commentaries into Sinhala and that literary activity caused to spring  a sophisticated Buddhist literature after -wards. The Brāhmīalphabet  expanded in its evolution  of  Pali and Sanskrit scripts under the influence of Buddhism in the course of the time. 

                        Though Sinhala wordstock is an interesting combination of borrowed words from various languages, it should be mentioned  that a considerable  amount of Paliand Sanskrit words  could be identified  in the  Sinhala tongue which have  entered as homogeneous or  derived words under the influence of Theravāda or Mahāyāna Buddhism. A special  attention  has been given to explore the Sinhala wordstock  which has expanded with such kind of words, as a morphological study.

                        There is a developed literary tradition in Sinhala language which possesses written  evidence  since the third century B.C. Sinhala language together with a Buddhist literary tradition evolved gradually and signs of Diglossia  began to  emerge in the course of  time. While the spoken  practice rapidly evolved by contacting with other languages as well as it developed as a living language, however writing on the other hand had barriers. As a result the difference  between the writing and speech (colloquial practice) expanded.  The Buddhist  influence  is visible explicitly not only in written Sinhala but also in colloquial Sinhala. The attempt of this article to study this language form  nourished by Buddhism comprehensively.

Keywords :- Derivation, Borrowing Homogeneous words., Derived words,  Folk Religion, Colloquial Sinhala.

 

Article Details

How to Cite
Jayaweera, R. (2019). Buddhism and the Sinhala Writing Tradition. Advances in Social Sciences Research Journal, 6(1), 559–569. https://doi.org/10.14738/assrj.61.6132
Section
Articles
Author Biography

Ruwan Jayaweera, Sri Lanka International Buddhist Academy Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University

Teacher

References

Bibliography

Original Sources

• Dampiyā Atuwā Gạtapadaya. D.B. Jayathilaka(Ed).Colombo.M.D. Gunasena

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• Karunathilaka W.S. Sinhalese Grammar. Colombo M.D. Gunasena 1995.

• Perera H.R.Buddhism in Sri Lanka. A short History. Kandy.1988

• Rahula, Walpola History of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. Dehiwala. Buddhist cultural center 1993

• Thennakoon Wimalananda The ancient Ceylon and Inscriptions. Colombo. M.D. Gunasena 1986.