SOAS Research Online

A Free Database of the Latest Research by SOAS Academics and PhD Students

[skip to content]

Meddegama, Udaya Prasanta (1973) The language of Sinhalese fiction, 1860-1970. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

PDF - Submitted Version
Download (28MB) | Preview


The aim of this study is to examine the evolution of the language of Sinhalese fiction from 1860 - 1970. As there is a large number of authors in this period, our attempt will be only to deal with prose fiction. The prose romances of the late nineteenth and the early twentieth century, and the novels of the modern times are discussed and analysed with regard to themes, subject-matter, influence of foreign authors and the language. In our analyses of the language of fiction, it must be made clear, we will not be approaching from a purely linguistic point of view, but rather from an aesthetic and literary point of view. As most of the early writers of Sinhalese fiction used the styles of classical prose and some modem novelists also draw inspiration from it, an attempt is made at the beginning of this study to present a brief history of Sinhalese prose from earliest times up to the early nineteenth century. In chapter 2 we will be examining the contribution of the Sinhalese Christian writers to the language and various aspects of the literary revival in the nineteenth century as regards the development of the language. Prom chapter 3, we will be discussing the nature and evolution of Sinhalese fiction, its language, the attitudes of the early readership towards fiction and the appearance of the novel proper after the second world war. As the form of fiction underwent new changes after this period its language too followed suit to become a medium suitable to express the ideas and experiences of the modern times. The evolution and development of the language of Sinhalese fiction will be examined in our study with synopses from selected works of fiction, analyses and comparisons of themes and techniques and with extracts exemplifying and illustrating the gradual development of the language as a rich and powerful medium to express the complicated human problems, the consciousness and the experiences of the modern age.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:00

Altmetric Data


Download activity - last 12 monthsShow export options
Downloads since deposit
6 month trend
6 month trend
Accesses by country - last 12 monthsShow export options
Accesses by referrer - last 12 monthsShow export options

Repository staff only

Edit Item Edit Item