Tausug Language

Location: Jolo (Sulu Archipelago), principally, and the islands of Pata, Marunggas, Tapul, and Lugus; Kalimantan (Indonesia) and Sabah (Malaysia).
Dialects: Parianun (town of Jolo); Gimbahanun (interior Jolo (deep, conservative) Tausug); outlying dialects.
Number of Speakers: 651,808 (1990 Census, Philippines); 764,000 total.
Language Family: Central Philippines > Visayan > South Visayan > Tausug/Butuanon > Tausug.
Alternate Names: Taw Sug, Sulu(k), Tausog, Moro Joloano.

Phonology:

Consonants:

p, t, k (unaspirated), ‘ (Glottal stop written as ‘ (linguists) or h (speakers))
b, d, g (spirantize between vowels)
ch (allophone of ss, bichara ‘speak’ > bichara), j (natively, syllable initial only)
s, h
m, n, (ny), ng
l, r (allophone of d, l), w, y
Features: Gemination of all non-glottal consonants

Vowels:

i, a, u [o/u]
Diphthongs: aw, uy, ay, iw [issiw, variant of hisiyu ‘who’]
Features: Vowel length (marked here with underscore, e.g. ba_y ‘house’)
Stress: Nonphonemic Stress on final syllable.

Morphology

Pronouns

Person
Nominative
Genitive
Oblique
Singular 1
aku
ku/*ta
ka_ku’
2
ikaw, kaw
mu
kaymu
3
siya
niya
kaniya
Plural 1 (dual)
kita
natu’, ta
katu’
1 (exclusive)
kami
namu’
ka_mu’
1 (inclusive)
kitaniyu
taniyu
ka_tu’niyu 
2
kamu
niyu
kaniyu
3
sila
nila
kanila

Note: Second person pronouns do not encode respect, Second person pronouns are ikaw (independent) vs. kaw (enclitic). * First person genitive pronoun changes to ta before second person nominative pronouns.

Deictics

  Locatives
Demonstratives
Plain vs. Oblique
Motion Verbs
Existentials
Proximate 1

(nearest speaker)

di_
ini
ha ini
kari
yari
Proximal 2

(near speaker)

yan
yan
ha yan
-
yan
Medial 

(near addressee)

duun
yaun
ha yaun
kawn
yaun
Distal
didtu
yadtu
ha yadtu
kadtu
yadtu

Noun Markers

Nominative
Genitive
Oblique
non-specific
specific
location
motion
Common
in
0
sin
ha
pa
Personal,

singular

hi
kan
Personal, plural
hinda
hinda
kanda

Common noun plural marker: mga [ma.nga]

Basic Verbal Morphology
 
Orientation Future/Inf. Progressive Initiated Imperative
Actor -um-/(m-) C-imV- -im- (initiated) root
m- miyCV- miy- root
mag- nagCV- nag- pag-/root
ma- naCV- na- root
Object -un C-iyV- -iy- -a
Direction/Loc. -an C-iyV- ... –an -iy- ... –an -i
Theme (h)i- C-iyV- -iy- -an, -a
Instrument hipaN- piyaNCV- piyaN- -
Reason hika- kiyaka- kiya- -

Other Affixes: pa- (causative); maka-, ma-, ka- (stative/potentive); -i (reciprocal); full reduplication of stem (reciprocal, diminutive).

Common Closed Class Words

Answering Questions: (h)uu(n) (yes), bukun, di’ (no), kalu-kalu, maray’ (perhaps)

Existentials: awn (positive) vs. way, wayruun (negative)

Negators: ayaw (commands); di’ (statements, questions); way (existential, realis (completed or progressive)) bukun (adjectives, nouns)

Interrogatives: unu (what), hisiyu (who), kansiyu (whose), mayta’ (why), ku’nu (when, future), ka’nu (when, past), ha_in (where), haunu (where; which), pila (how much), biya’ diin (how), pakain (where to), hikapila (in what order)

Adverbial Particles: ba (irritation), baha’ (wonder), da/ra (only, just), hadja (just), isab (too also), kaddaw (optative), kunu’ (hearsay), masi, pa (still, yet), mayan, ma_n (later, conditionals), muna (first), na (already, now), sa (emphatic), tuwi’ (surprise).

Conjunctions/Clause combiners: iban (and, with), atawa (or), sa’ (but), bang (if), bat (so that), na (well,..), pasalan (because, about), sabab (because)

Temporals: ampa (and then), pagkuwan (and then), huwas, pag, pagka- (after), hina’bu (during), bakas (before), sampay (until), bihaun (now, today), kahapun (yesterday), kuns_um, kinsu_m (tomorrow), ku’nisa (day after tomorrow), ta’kisa (day before yesterday), mayan (later), gana-gana (later)

Similarity: biya’ (like, as)

Emphatic/Pointer: amu

Tausug Sentences:

1. Hati' maray' giyiikan mu ini siki niya. Then maybe you stepped on his foot.
2. Bukun, di' ku kaingatan bang unu in nangjari, maray' nabali' in hawakan niya. No, I don’t know what happened. Maybe he broke his hip.
3. Ama', mayta' di' mu aku pakattuhun kimita' sini iban hi Omar? Father, why don’t you let me go to the movies with Omar?
4. Kiyarungugan ku, da_hun mu in anak mu babae pa sini, manjari da_hun mu ra isab in anak ku usug isab? I heard you were taking your daugther to the movies, can you also take my son?
5. Ibayta' ku kaymu, bang hadja janji' di' mu ibayta' kaniya. I’ll tell you only if you promise not to tell her.
6. Dihili aku tu_ (3) masukud umbul. Give me three lucky numbers.
7. Pangannal ku yari sila ha pitaka' sa' wayruun di_. I thought they were in my wallet, but (they're) not here.
8. Malami bang biya' diin matu_g in iru' (hi Buster). Daran siya matu_g ha taykud hati' piyataas in mga siki? That's funny how the dog (Buster) sleeps. Does he usually sleep on hs back with his legs up (in the air)?
9. Dayang, tabia' simay kaw pa higad, kagunahan tandingun namu' kaw. Ma'am, please step to the side, we need to inspect you.
10. Mayta' pini_' niyu aku, lupa aku sugarul? Why did you choose me, do I look like a burglar?
11. Haggut-atay, yuhulasan na kaw, kiyakangi' mu in malingkat mu badju'. Calm down. You are sweating (and) you'll spoil your nice suit.
 

Some Tausug Proverbs:

In ka_baw minsan mu biadjuan sutla’ mui’ da pa pisak.
Through you dress a water buffalo in silk, he will always return to the mud.

Mamung hi ambung kan batak parahal sali’ sali’ da buslot.
The rattan basket criticizes the palm bag, but both are full of holes.

Marayaw sumabulak sumping ha kubul kapil, ayaw sumabulak ha kubul lalim.
It’s better the strew flowers on the grave of an infidel than that of a tyrant.

Matambul in simud suba’ dayn ha simud sin ta’u.
It is easier to stop the mouth of a river, than the mouth of a man.


 


Bibliography:

Armour, Malcolm S. 1984. A comparison of narrative and hortatory discourse in Tausug. M.A. thesis. University of Texas at Arlington. xiii, 197 p.
Armour, Malcolm S., Seymour Ashley, and Lois Ashley. 1978. "Tausug [language texts]." In Evan L. Antworth (ed.), Folktale texts , 180-201. Studies in Philippine Linguistics, 2(2). Manila: Linguistic Society of the Philippines and Summer Institute of Linguistics.
Ashley, Seymour and Lois Ashley. 1963. "The phonemes of Tausug." In Elmer Wolfenden (ed.), Papers on Philippine Languages 1 , 7-17. Manila: Institute for Language Teaching and Summer Institute of Linguistics.
Ashley, Seymour and Lois Ashley. 1971. "Outline of sentence types of Tausug." Philippine Journal of Linguistics 2(1): 44-91.
Ashley, Seymour. 1973. "A case classification of Tausug verbs." In Gerhard Rixhon (ed.), Sulu studies 2 , 70-85. Jolo, Sulu: Notre Dame of Jolo College.
Ashley, Seymour. 1973. "Notes on Tausug orthography." In Gerhard Rixhon (ed.), Sulu studies 2 , 86-94. Jolo, Sulu: Notre Dame of Jolo College.
Hassan, Irene, Ricardo Adjawie and Gerard Rixhon. 1974. "Selected Tausug Poems." Sulu Studies 3. Jolo: Notre Dame College of Jolo, 115-130.
Hassan, Irene U, Nurhadan Halud, Seymour A. Ashley, Mary L. Ashley. 1995. Tausug-English Dictionary Kabtangan Iban Maana. Manila: Summer Institute of Linguistics.
Moody, David C. 1984. "The Suluk (Tausug) language." In Julie K. King and John Wayne King (eds.), Languages of Sabah: A survey report , 75-84. Pacific Linguistics C, 78. Canberra: Australian National University.
Peneyra, Irma. 1993. "A Grammatical Sketch of Tausug". Archive, Publication Nine.
Rixhon, Gerard. 1974. "Tausug Literature: An Overview." Sulu Studies 3. Jolo: Coordinated Investigation of Sulu Culture, Notre Dame College of Jolo, 1-86.



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