Lesson 9: Conjunctions I

          Bismillah. This is the 9th lesson on “Tausug 101: Learning Bahasa Sug” by Anak Iluh. For lists of lessons, please go to: Lists of Lessons. There is a short quiz at the end of this lesson.
          In the previous lesson, we have learned the three noun markers “in”, “hi” and “hinda”. We have differentiated the three markers on how they are used as indicators of nouns (“in” for proper nouns and “hi/hinda” for common nouns). These three noun markers actually have their other form: they can also exist and function as conjunctions! In this lesson, we will discuss the conjunction forms of these three articles and their usage. Apparently, all of the three conjunctions we are about to tackle, are forms equivalent of the same, common term: the conjunction “of”.

The Conjunction “sin”

          The Tausug conjunction “sin” corresponds to the English conjunction “of” and the Tagalog “ng” which basically denotes possession. And just like the article “in”, “sin” is only used with common (improper) nouns or objects. Maybe we can say, “sin” is the conjunction form of “in”. Let us study the examples below:
Format: + sin +
Example 1
Example 2
Lawang sin báy.
Taumpa’ sin bagay ku.
Pintuan ng bahay.
Sapatos ng kaibigan ko.
(The) door of the house.
(The) shoe of my friend.
*NOTE: There are other forms and usage of the word “sin” in a sentence, but for now, we will only focus on this form.
          In Example 1, the first noun Lawang (Door) is followed by our conjunction “sin”; then by the second common noun Báy (House, which is a common noun). When this kind of word order happens (that is, “sin” is in between two nouns), the first noun or object will basically become a part or property of the second noun or object . This is what we mean by “possession”; Noun 1 is possessed by Noun 2. So in the example “Lawang sin báy”, we are informed that the object Lawang is indeed part of the common noun, Báy
          Same principles govern the second example, but in here we are now using a common, personal noun Bagay (Friend) instead of an object. The first noun Taumpa’ (Shoe) is a ‘possession’ of the second noun, Bagay.

Conjunctions “hi” and “hinda”

          Remember in lesson 8, we have discussed the primary forms of “hi” and “hinda” as noun markers. This time we will meet their other forms (although without changing spellings) as equivalents of the possessive conjunction “of”.  
          Also following their Noun-marker forms, the conjunctions “hi” and “hinda” are both used with proper nouns (esp. names of persons) or identified objects only. And because they also function as equivalents of the conjunction “of”, they also denote possession. These two are the same as the Tagalog conjunctions “ni” and “nina”. Here are a few examples:
Also following the same format:
+ hi + for singular n.
+ hinda + for plural n.

Báy hi Omar.
Bagay hinda Sandra.
Bahay ni Omar.
Kaibigan nina Sandra.
(The) house of Omar.
(A) Friend of Sandra (and others).

Differentiating Noun-markers from Conjunctions

          The article “in” which is a noun marker can easily be distinguished from its conjunction form: “sin”. But the articles “hi” and “hinda” are not at all changed upon shifting of roles from being noun-markers to being conjunctions. Yet, both forms are used interchangeably by native Tausug speakers without much of a problem.  So for non-Tausug speakers, how do we differentiate one from the other?
First, we have to see how “in” and “sin” differs
For “in” and “sin”
As Noun Marker (“in”)
As Possessive conjunction (“sin”)
English (Tagalog)
Miyanaw in mastal.
The teacher walked.
(Lumakad ang guro.)
Payung sin mastal
(The) umbrella of the teacher
(Ang payong ng guro.)
Format (not consistent)
+ in +
+ sin +
Kind of nouns being used
Usually found…
At the beginning of phrase; followed by nouns;
in between two nouns
And for “hi” and “hinda”, remember the following differences:
For “hi” and “hinda”
As Noun Marker
As Possessive conjunction
(None in English)
“si” for sing.
“sina” for pl.
(“ni” for sing.
“nina” for pl.)
Examples (sing.)
Miyanaw hi Daud.
Daud walked.
(Lumakad si Daud)
Payung hi Daud
(The) umbrella of Daud
(Ang payong ni Daud)
Format (not consistent)
+ hi +
+ hi +
Kind of nouns being used
Usually found…
At the beginning of sentence; or followed by noun
usually in between two nouns only.
  So, to sum it up, here are the things we learned today:
  1. We have learned three Tausug conjunctions for the English conjunction “of” that denotes possession. They are “sin”, “hi” and “hinda”;
  2. “sin” is used for common nouns, “hi” and its plural form “hinda” are used in proper nouns;
  3. In tagalong, “sin” = “ng”, “hi” = “ni”, and “hinda” = “nina
  4. The first object before the conjunctions sin/hi/hinda will become a part or possession of the second object which comes after the conjunctions.
Here’s a short quiz to test if you really mastered the lesson for today:
I. Fill in the blanks using the three Tausug conjunctions “sin”, “hi” and “hinda”. Only English translations will be provided)
  1. Kiyawa’ hi Jamal in butung ___ apa’ Malik. (Jamal took uncle Malik’s coconut.)
  2. Nabali’ in sasapu ___ magdaragang. (The broomstick of the vendor was broken.)
  3. Piyakain na in mga anak ___ kuting ini? (Where did the kittens of this cat go?)
  4. In mutul ___ Morshid in nagkangiy’. (The motorbike of Morshid’s family was the one not working. –Plural–)
  5. Dakdakan ku pa in badju’ ___ Inah ku. (I will wash my mother’s dress. –“Mother” here is used as an identified, proper noun.)
II. Identify if the following underlined words with “hi” and “hinda” are used either as NOUN MARKERS or as CONJUNCTIONS.
  1.  In sayng biniy hi Samir. (The banana was bought by Samir.) ________________
  2. Manghud hi Kamal in dimagan. (The one running is a younger brother of Kamal) _________
  3. Dimá naglumba’ hi Muktar, amun anak hi Amin. (Muktar, the son of Amin, called for a race.) _____________, ______________ (two answers)
  4. Hi Marwan in nangdaug. (Marwan is the one who won.) __________.
Send your answers to thru our contact page. CORRECT ANSWERS will be published on the next lesson.

One thought on “Lesson 9: Conjunctions I

  1. Love to know Bahasa Sug & thank you to provide us this great blog.

    Salam Ukhuwah, I am Malaysian Sabahan boy. Now migrate to Kuala Lumpur. I am not Suluk/Tausug but I have a lot of Suluk friend. Hopefully this blog can guide me how to communicate better with them.

    I can tell you that Bahasa Sug quite close to our language, Malay or (Bahasa Melayu). But, i think, bahasa Sug much more difficult to learn compare to Malay. Example, for the sentence “Lawang sin báy” or “Door of the house” in English, In Malay, we just say “pintu rumah”. (door house)

    But whatever it is, for sure it's very good to know others language.


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