Sri Lanka Portuguese is spoken by a dwindling number of the island’s Burgher ethnic group, descendants of unions between (primarily) Portuguese and Dutch men and local women. Speakers are still found in the Tamil-dominant east coast towns of Batticaloa and Trincomalee. The spoken varieties of these two towns exhibit only minor differences. Many of the South Asian characteristics of these varieties were also exhibited by speakers in the Sinhala-dominant region of the island. In addition, there existed a formal register displaying more European than South Asian morphosyntax. This register can be found in the 19th century literature, but by the 1970s, it was only poorly known by a very small number of speakers. Its origin is moot: was it a holdover of an earlier spoken variety or (my view) an artificial norm created by Anglophone missionaries, who began to use the language for evangelical purposes in the early 1800’s? The default lect documented in APiCS is the spoken variety of Batticaloa in the 1970s. Examples are taken mostly from my field notes of 1974-5.
|trill, tap or flap||r||ɾ|
|ʋ||voiced labio-dental approximant - Exists (as a major allophone)|
|əː||long mid central unrounded vowel - Exists only in loanwords|
|Exists (as a major allophone)|
|Exists only as a minor allophone|
|Exists only in loanwords|
|Does not exist|