- Sri Lanka Indo-Portuguese language
name = Sri Lanka Portuguese Creole
speakers = 3,406 [ [http://www.ethnologue.com/show_language.asp?code=idb Ethnologue] ]
familycolor = Creole
fam3 = Indo-Portuguese Creole
Sri Lanka Indo-Portuguese or Sri Lanka Portuguese Creole is a language spoken in
Sri Lanka. The language was a lingua francain the island for 350 years (From 16th to mid-19th century).
Origins and distribution
Today the language is spoken by their descendants, the Portuguese Burgher community, in the Eastern towns of
Batticaloa( Koolavaddy, Mamangam, Uppodai, Dutch Bar, Akkaraipattu) and Trincomalee( Palayuttu). But there are also speakers among the Kaffirs, descendant of African slaves, in the Northwestern province, in Puttalam( Mannar). In the village of Wahakottenear Galewala, in central Sri Lanka, there is a small community of Catholics with partial Portuguese ancestry, where the language was spoken until two generations ago.
The language is facing extinction, as it is now only used at home and few are able to speak it well. Many of its speakers emigrated to other countries such as
Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USAand Europe. There are still 100 Burgher families in Batticaloa and Trincomalee and 80 Kaffir families in Puttalam that speak the language.
An early sample of the language was collected by
Hugh Nevill, a British civil servant stationed in Sri Lanka in the late 19th century. Among his large collection of oriental manuscripts is the " Sri Lanka Portuguese Creole Manuscript", containing over a thousand verses and a long text in prose.
The Sri Lanka Indo-Portuguese language has a syntax and phonology similar to Tamil.
* [http://books.google.com.br/books?id=n_EIAAAAQAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=portuguese+ceylon&lr=&as_brr=1 Complete downloadable book teaching the basics of Sri Lanka Indo-Portuguese]
* [http://www.lankalibrary.com/geo/portu/creole.htm Sri Lanka Portuguese Creoles] at a Sri Lanka virtual library site.
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