A Comparative Study of the Syntactic Analysis of Pali and Sinhala Languages

Nawalapitiye Anuradha Sudhammika Therani


Early Sinhala Literature is based on the Pali literature. Most of the time thewriters have translated Pali sources into Sinhala. (i.e. Pali Bodhiwamsa>SinhalaBodhiwamsa) At that time, the Sinhala writers have employed the make out in Sinhalesein place of the word Translation. The researchers have shown the early Sinhala texts(i.e. Amawathura/Saddharmarathnawaliya) as the adaptation of the original PaliSources. The main objective of this study is to find out the nature of the methods ofadaptation, and to which extent Sinhala language has diverged from Pali in case ofsyntax.

The syntactic study deals with the word order, case in noun, voice in verb, theagreement of the subject and the predicate, etc. As far as Sinhala is concerned, theabove categories had evolved considerably already by the 9th century. As a result,syntactic features had diverged from middle Indian languages including Pali. Thisdivergence is clear from the Dhampiya Atuwa Getapadaya and the inscriptions in theearlier period. The way syntactic features developed into a profound level by the twelfthcentury is evident from the texts of Gurulugomi, (i.e. Dharmapradeepikawa,Amawathura) and in contemporary slab inscriptions

The objective of this study is to observe the similarities and differences of thesetwo languages and to examine the Sinhala syntactic characteristics as they differ fromPali syntactic characteristics.

The methodology used in this study forms a revision of previous research on thegiven topic and a comparison of Sinhala and Pali syntactic features as is apparent in thedata. The study will apply knowledge in grammatical analysis and translation methods.

The results of this research are as follows: there are more similarities and somedifferences; some special syntactic characteristics have laid these two languages. So thatearly Sinhala language is based on the Pali language.

Key words: Sinhala language, Pali language, Syntactic analysis

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