Research Article

The Influence of the Material used for Writing on the Transformation of the Sinhala Letters in Sri Lanka


  • A. M. N. Kasun Abeysinghe PhD Candidate - School of International Studies, Communication University of China, Beijing, China, 100024


It is important to look into the factors that have influenced the change of the Sinhala script through archeological and historical research. In the past, the Sinhala alphabet was composed of letters that had the shape of Asoka Brahmi script and some independently generated letters. The earliest Brahmi alphabet in Sri Lanka has evolved gradually up to now. Various factors were influenced when the Brahmi script transformed into the Sinhala alphabet. Among them, technological, political, environmental, socio-cultural, economic, and legal factors are the foremost. At present, Sri Lanka has also entered into the global economy and simultaneously, the attention has been focused on handling the language efficiently in a simple manner. In the process of evolving from the inscriptions to the computer in the present, the Sinhala script has achieved the status of being handled easily and simply with beautifully shaped letters, and further development can be expected with future technological achievements. Moreover, the number of letters has changed from time to time depending on the respective alphabet. When considering the Brahmi script that has developed in such a manner, some letters can be seen as gradually developed from their early shape, while some letters do not have any similarities with their present shape. Letters have acquired an angular shape when written on clay pots and in inscriptions, semi-circular shapes on metal plates, semi-circular and cursive shapes on Ola leaf, and a more circular shape when used in printing presses and computers.

Article information


Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences Studies

Volume (Issue)

5 (1)





How to Cite

A. M. N. Kasun Abeysinghe. (2023). The Influence of the Material used for Writing on the Transformation of the Sinhala Letters in Sri Lanka. Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences Studies, 5(1), 72–77.



Sinhala letters; Environmental factors; Writing material; Evolution