This dictionary is the result of a joint project of the Bureau of Public schools, the Summer Institute of Linguistics and the Coordinated Investigation of Sulu Culture. It is the first major vocabulary compilation published in the Tausug language in anything other than mimeographed form. It is not purported to be the first Tausug vocabulary ever compiled nor to have been drawn up without recourse to earlier sources. To the contrary the editors and research workers have drawn heavily from the work of Captain Francis Link, who produced an excellent unpublished dictionary in the early 1920's and from the work of Fr. Rene Copet OMI who produced a much shorter vocabulary in mimeographed form in 1957.
The project begain in June of 1973 with a series of dictionary seminars conducted by Lee Ballard of the Summer Institute of Linguistics on the campus of the Notre Dame of Jolo College and it continued from that time under the supervision of the editors (Irene Hassan, Nurhadan Halud, Seymour Ashley, and Lois Ashley) and Mr. Caesar Taga, until May of 1974, when the last entries were edited.
The cooperation and encouragement which made the project possible were graciously afforded by Mrs. Liceria Brilliantes Soriano, Director, Bureau of Elementary Education; Mr. Nassal Allian, Division Superintendent (Division of Sulu) and by Father Gerard Rixhon, Director of the Coordinated Investigation of Sulu Culture. Others who provided encouragement and assistance were: Mr. Pastor Cerrato, Supervisor, Division of Adult and Community Education; Mr. Julhani Malli', Division Academic Supervisor and Hadji Paradji Mandangan, District Supervisor.
Funding for the dictionary was undertaken by the Bureau of Public Schools (in the form of teachers' wages), the Summer Institute of Linguistics and the Ford Foundation, through the Coordinated Investigation of Sulu Culture.
The procedure followed during the project was first the preparation of a composite list of Tausug words drawn from various sources. These cards were then distributed by the editors to the public school teachers who reviewed and improved the glosses, supplied synonyms and illustrative, culturally relevant sentences in Tausug with English translations.
The public school teachers who worked on the project were primarily ones assigned by the administration of the local division office to assist in the project. They usually worked on the cards in their homes reporting to the editors periodically to secure additional cards and to turn in those which they had finished. In the next step the editors added grammatical information on each card and checked the glosses and English translations for accuracy. Problems were resolved in consultation between the editors or on occasion with the teachers.
The research workers who did the basic preparation of the card entries and who were awarded certificates of participation and attendance for their work in the dictionary project throughout its duration were: Miss Putli' Jahalia Abduhalim, Mr. Ihiraji Aras, Mr. Ahmad Hussin Arasa, Mr. Jupri Awab, Miss Bahay Bahjin, Mr. Samsaraji Habbi, Mrs. Salbia Habbi, Mrs. Cesaria Hadjirul, Mrs. Shirley Ismael, Mr. Durugan Ladjamatli, Mr. Julhani Malli', Mr. Hadji Paradji Mandangan, Mr. Bensali Paddam, Mr. Dadjami Sappayani, Mr. Jalani Umabong, and Mr. Edong Usman.
Much of the work of formulating and processing the dictionary entries was done under difficult circumstances and some of the completed dictionary entry cards were Iost during the fire and confusion in Jolo town in February of 1974. In spite of this the project continued and has been finally completed. This speaks well of the courage and persistence of those involved.
It should be noted from the start that this work is considered to be just that-a start. No pretense is made of its being either exhaustive or perfect. There are problems concerning items of basic vocabulary which were overlooked and there are problems concerning items inadequately defined. But for two reasons the decision has been made to go ahead and publish, first because this dictionary as it stands is the best and most complete produced to date and second, because it is hoped that this edition by inviting correction and expansion may serve as a basis for further study.
The Tausug language is spoken by so many people and occupies such a strategic importance in the southern Philippines as to make the publication of a Tausug dictionary a necessity. The Tausug language, the mother tongue of more than a quarter million peeple and the trade language spoken throughout the entire Sulu Archipelago, has already waited too long for a dictionary which would reflect its importance and richness.
Summer Institute of Linguistics