SOAS Research Online

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

[skip to content]

Rajapaksa, Rajapaksa M.W. (1988) Aspects of the phonology of the Sinhalese verb: A prosodic analysis. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

PDF - Submitted Version
Download (9MB) | Preview


The purpose of the thesis is to study Sinhalese verb forms in relation to slow and rapid styles. The theory used in the analysis is that of Prosodic Phonology. The thesis is presented in seven chapters and an appendix. Discussed in Chapter 1 are styles, speech situations, the theory used in the analysis, the choice of the theory as the theoretical background, the nature of the analysis, research procedure, data, informants, and new information arising from the research. Chapter 2 is divided into two parts. Part 1 is an outline description of vowel and consonant sounds. The physical characteristics of these sounds and their distribution are given here. Part 2 includes a discussion of the syllable: syllable structure, syllable quantity, syllable prominence and syllable division. Chapter 3 contains an analysis of simple verb stems. Structures and patterns of verb stems, and contrasts and functions of elements within patterns are given here. In the analysis of disyllabic structures, the relationship between the first and second syllables is also discussed. Included in chapter 4 is a phonological analysis of phrasal verb stems. Here, three types of stems, non-free morphemes, loan stems and onomatopoeic stems are described. At the end of each analysis, differences of the phonological structure of stems of the given three types are considered. In the analysis of the onomatopoeic stems, the relationship between the initial and non-initial syllables is also examined. Chapter 5 includes a phonological analysis of affixes which can be suffixes, infixes or prefixes. How phonological structures of affixes differ from those of stems is also discussed. Discussed in chapter 6 are the conjug. marker, conjug. classes, the relationship between non-past vol. and invol. stems and non-past and past vol. stems, junction prosodies, reduplication and the length relationship. The analysis of rapid verb forms is given in chapter 7. Here, stems and affixes are described separately. In the analysis, phonological structures of parallel slow forms of stems and affixes are also given for comparison with structures of rapid forms. This chapter is followed by a summary and conclusion. The appendix includes a grammatical analysis of verb forms and a list of simple verbs which are analyzed in the thesis. In the grammatical analysis, volitive and involitive forms, tenses, aspects, overlapping forms and the grammatical function of suffixes are discussed.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:14

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