Sri Lankan English

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This chapter provides an overview of English in Sri Lanka, the language introduced to the island by the British during the late eighteenth century when it became a British colony. It includes a description of its development in and impact on Sri Lanka, the multilingual context in which the language exists, and the speakers of English in post‐independence Sri Lanka. The chapter begins with a discussion of the macro‐sociolinguistic situation, with reference to language policies, English language education, social class, and varieties of Sri Lankan English. It discusses linguistic features as well as “code‐merging” in Sri Lankan speech and popular music. The chapter notes that various features of Sri Lankan English now incorporate various degrees of contact and integration between English, Sinhala, and Tamil, and in this context “code‐merging,” as a means of expression, has resulted in what may be described as distinctively fluid translingual language codes.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Handbook of Asian Englishes
EditorsKingsley Bolton, Werna Botha, Andy Kirkpatrick
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons Inc.
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781118791882
ISBN (Print)9781118791806
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2020


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