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Sri Lankan Creole Malay

A language of Sri Lanka

ISO 639-3sci

Population  46,000 (Ansaldo and Lim 2006), decreasing.
Region  Especially the cities of Colombo, Kandy, Badulla, Hambantota, Kirinda.
Language map  Sri Lanka
Alternate names   Java Jati, Melayu Bahasa, Sri Lankan Malay
Dialects  Not intelligible with Standard Malay [zsm] because of phonological and syntactic differences, and strong influence from Tamil [tam]. May be similar to Malaccan Creole Malay [ccm] (Lim 1981).
Classification  Creole, Malay based
Language use  Language shift taking place. Malay communities using either English, Sinhala, or Tamil favor Sri Lankan Creole Malay. Clear shift to English among young generation in Colombo. Kirinda is the only vital community of Sri Lanka Malays having a young generation of speakers as L1. There is also a desire to acquire Standard Malay [zsm] as a useful economic tool while still preserving a global Malay identity. Beginnings of a shift to Standard Malay [zsm] even in Kirinda. Home, community. All ages only in Kirinda; being lost by the young generation in every other community. Also use Sinhala [sin], Tamil [tam], English, or Standard Malay [zsm].
Language development  Newspapers. Radio programs.
Writing system  Latin script.
Comments  Malay vocabulary with grammatical structure based on Sri Lankan Moor Tamil. SOV; postpositions; case; adjectives and genitives precede noun heads. Muslim, syncretism with traditional religion.
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