Summer Programs in Sinhalese?

jwg2 at jwg2 at
Tue Dec 5 04:51:07 UTC 1995

>As the South Asia Gopher did not contain any information regarding the
>subject, I shall ask it here: Do any universities or colleges in the United
>States - preferrably on the West Coast - give instruction in Elementary
>Anshuman Pandey
>Univ. of Washington
>Seattle, WA, USA

 To Mr Pandey, and others interested:
        Indeed, Cornell does present  a Sinhala (Sinhalese) Summer program
in alternate years. the next session will be in summer 1996. For some
reason, this did not get on the South Asian Gopher, which we will rectify,
but material from the current announcement follows...James W. Gair

                                                SINHALA AT CORNELL---SUMMER 1996
        Sinhala (Sinhalese) is the major official language of Sri Lanka
(formerly Ceylon), spoken as a first language by approximately 75% of the
population. Although Sinhala is located to the Southeast of India, it is
related to the languages of North India, such as Hindi, Bengali, and
Panjabi, from which it has been separated for over two thousand years. It
has a continuous epigraphical and literary record since the second or third
century B.C., and is the vehicle for a number of important Buddhist texts.
It is thus particularly interesting to the student of Buddhism and/or South
Asia, to the linguist, or to any person who likes to encounter languages of
different structures.

        Sinhala 160, an eight-week, ten credit  intensive course in the
language, will be offered in the Cornell University Summer Session from
June 12 through August 7, l996 by the Department of Modern Languages and
Linguistics and the South Asia Program. This year, the course will be under
the direction of Professor J.W.Gair and staff and will cover the material
generally included in the two-semester sequence, Sinhala 101-102, offered
at Cornell during the regular academic year. It will thus provide an
unusual opportunity to obtain a basic competence in the language in one

        Emphasis will be on the spoken (colloquial) language, but  the
writing system will be introduced and after an initial period, all Sinhala
materials will be in that script.  There will also be additional reading
practice with colloquial materials.  Thus a foundation will be laid for
later study of the written language (Literary Sinhala), which is sharply
different from that used for virtually all oral communication. Students
will spend four hours per day in class, and two further hours working with
recorded materials, in addition to the time required for daily preparation.

FINANCIAL AID:  Two U.S. Department of Education Fellowships, covering
tuition, fees, and a maintenance allowance, are available through the South
Asia Program.  These fellowships are open to U.S. citizens and permanent
residents who are graduate students at Cornell or other institutions.  In
addition, some tuition waivers may be available for students (and possibly
faculty members) with teaching or research interests in Sri Lanka.

INFORMATION AND APPLICATIONS: Requests for additional information about the
program and application materials should be directed to:

Summer Sinhala, South Asia Program, 170 Uris Hall
Cornell University, Ithaca, New York l4853-7601
Tel: (607) 255 8493

The Intensive Sinhala Language Study Program is sponsored in part by the
Cornell-Syracuse National Resource Center for South Asia Studies with
financial support from the U.S. Department of Education and Cornell


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