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Creativity in the Use of Sinhala and English in Advertisements in Sri Lanka: A Morphological Analysis

Authors: Chamindi Dilkushi Senaratne


Sri Lanka has lived with the English language for more than 200 years. Although officially considered a link language, the phenomenal usage of English by the Sinhala-English bilingual has given rise to a mixed code with identifiable structural characteristics. The extensive use of the mixed language by the average Sri Lankan bilingual has resulted in it being used as a medium of communication by creative writers of bilingual advertisements in Sri Lanka. This study analyses the way in which English is used in bilingual advertisements in both print and electronic media in Sri Lanka. The theoretical framework for the study is based on Kachru’s analysis of the use of English by the bilingual, Muysken’s typology on code mixing theories in colonial settings and Myers-Scotton’s theory on the Matrix Language Framework Model. The study will look at a selection of Sinhala-English advertisements published in newspapers from 2015 to 2016. Only advertisements using both Sinhala and English are used for the analysis. To substantiate data collected from the newspapers, the study will select bilingual advertisements from television advertisements. The objective of the study is to analyze the mixed patterns used for creative purposes by advertisers. The results of the study will reveal the creativity used by the Sinhala –English bilingual and the morphological processes used by the creators of Sinhala-English bilingual advertisements to attract the masses.

Keywords: Bilingual, code mixing, mixed code, morphology, processes.

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