This is the third text in a series that aims to provide reliable and up-to-date descriptions of the grammatical structure of a range of African and Oriental languages, in a form accessible to the non-specialist. A historical and geographical overview is offered as an introduction to the subject.
Sinhala is one of the official languages of Sri Lanka and the mother tongue of over 70% of the population. Outside Sri Lanka it is used among immigrant populations in the U.K., North America, Australia and some European and Middle Eastern countries. As for the genetic relation, it belongs to the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. Although the earliest surviving literature in Sinhala dates from the 8th century A.D. its written tradition has traced a longer path of more than 2000 years.