Thus Burma possesses two kinds of literature, Pali and Burmese.
It would seem that up to the 4th century of our era the Sinhalese had written exclusively in their own tongue; that is to say that for six centuries they had studied and understood Pali as a dead language without using it as a means of literary expression.
Pali, though only a form of Hindu literature, has a separate history, for it died in India and was preserved in Ceylon, whence it was imported to Burma and Siam as the language of religion.
These scholars (most of them members of the Buddhist Order, but many of them laymen) not only copied and recopied the Indian Pali books, but wrote a very large number themselves.
Franke in two articles in the Journal of the Pali Text Society for 1903, and in his Geschichte and Kritik der einheimischen Pali Grammatik.