However it is important to note that the range of borrowings goes beyond the scope to be expected for a situation where two neighbouring peoples exchange material goods: Firstly, there are many Tamil loanwords pertaining to everyday and social life (kinship terms, body parts, ordinary activities etc.); secondly, not only lexical words (nouns, adjectives and verbs) but also at least one function word (ōnē) has been borrowed. This—along with the deep impact Tamil has had on Sinhala syntax (e.g. the use of a verbal adjective of "to say" as a subordinating conjunction meaning "whether" and "that")--is the result of not only close coexistence but the existence of large numbers of bilinguals and a high degree of mixing, intermarriage, etc.
The borrowing process
Tamil loanwords in Sinhala can appear in the same form as the original word (e.g. akkā), but... Read More