Sri Lankan Communities with Lusitanian Linguistic Links by Dr Shihan de Silva Jayasuriya

(Senior Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London)|

Tuesday 24th July 2012 at 4.00 pm
at the
ICES Auditorium, 554/6A, Peradeniya Road, Mulgampola,

Dr Shihan de Silva Jayasuriya is a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies (University of London), a member of the UNESCO International Scientific Committee (Paris)  and  an elected Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society (Great Britain & Ireland). She has a PhD (Linguistics), an MSc (Finance) and a BSc Honours (Economics) from the University of London.  She is the author of eighty five peer-reviewed articles in international journals, and has also written eight books in the fields of Historical Linguistics, Ethnomusicology, Portuguese Studies, African Diaspora Studies and Ethnography.  Among her publications are ‘The Portuguese in the East: A Cultural History of a Maritime Trading Empire’ (I B Tauris, London) and ‘African Identity in Asia: Cultural Effects of Forced Migration’ (Markus Wiener, New Jersey).


This lecture is concerned with the communities who speak Sri Lanka Portuguese Creole.  Indo-Portuguese of Ceylon or Sri Lanka Portuguese Creole, was once an important lingua franca.  Though predicted to have become extinct, Sri Lanka Portuguese Creole still survives, against all odds. Indo-Portuguese speakers are ethnically different, but their histories are entwined. The Portuguese encounter with Sri Lanka which began five centuries ago was brief and ceased in the mid-seventeenth century.  Two further waves of Europeans washed over the shores of Sri Lanka but Lusitanian linguistic links remain strong. This lecture highlights the important role of the Creole-speaking communities in the transmission of Portuguese linguistic elements to the local languages.