In response to the call for Mother-Tongue Education from the Philippines Department of Education, minority languages such as Sinama must consider carefully how to use the terms of their own language to describe their language.  The goal of this post is to aggregate a list of definitions from the Sinama-English dictionary that could possibly be helpful in this task.  Much discussion is still needed in order to describe Sinama & Sinama grammar adequately using the Sinama language itself.

All entries are taken from the online publication of the SIL dictionary work in progress for the Central Sinama Language Dictionary, found at the following link:



  • Language; speech.

Category: Inform, report.

linkset: bissala, lling2



Variant: bissada, bisala

1 •  n. Speech; language.

Bilahi aku anganad bisala Sinama.

I want to learn the Sinama language.

link: lling1, bahasa1



1 •  n. A sound; a voice; a report; birdsong.

linkset: lagam, suwala

2 •  v. AState a-. To speak or utter.

Ahꞌlling sultan, yukna, “Abunnawas, sinokat ka angungsud dakayuꞌ lumaꞌ bulawan.”

The sultan spoke and said, “Abunnawas, you are required to provide one gold house as brideprice.”

Ahꞌlling ka min tꞌdda, ati suntukta ka.

Speak just once and I will punch you.

linkset: bissala, bāꞌ3, paꞌin3, yuk1, mūng


  1. AState a-.
  • To speak.

Mbal pahali tapagmūng-mūng piꞌingga-piꞌingga lahat. Bay dangan du ataꞌu, aheka na ataꞌu.

It doesn’t stop being spoken about in one place after another. Just one person knew of it, now many know.

Category: Utter

Gram: AStat. a-

link: bāꞌ3, lling1

  1. AO-1.
  • To say something (only in Object focus).

Buwat bay pinamūng eꞌ si Mmaꞌ.

As Father said.

Gram: AO-1


  1. AO-2.
  • To speak to someone; to tell someone.

Bāꞌin paꞌin inaꞌnu.

Just tell your mother.

Category: Utter

linkset: mūng, kꞌbbat2, baꞌat, batbat1, sambat1

link: lling1


  1. AO-1.
  • To utter something.

Ya hēꞌ batbatta.

That’s what we say.

Category: Utter

Gram: AO-1

link: bāꞌ3



  • The sense or real content of an utterance.

Ya batbatan lling si Nujiral saliꞌ halam. Hal suwala.

The real content of Nujiral’s speech is like nothing. It is just a voice.


  1. AOS-1.
  • To mention something, especially to mention a need in a polite way.

Ai-ai sinambat ni mattoꞌa, luwal ka halam mattoꞌa boꞌ mbal kabuwanan.

Whatever a child talks to his parent about, you wouldn’t be a parent not to give it.

Anambat aku ni kaꞌa, yukku, “Tuwan, bang aniyaꞌ amuꞌku ni kaꞌa, pamuwannu?” Yuknu, “Ai sambatnu?”

I mention something to you and say, “Sir, if I ask you for something, will you give it?” You say, “What is it you want to talk about?”

Category: Mention

Gram: AOS-1

link: bāꞌ3



  • Something said; an allusion to something.

Sambatan si Dandik, yukna, “Bang ka kinabilahian heꞌ dꞌnda, boꞌ kaꞌa-i mbal bilahi, magmahi ka.”

As Dandik put it, he said,”If a woman is in love with you and you don’t love her, make a fuss about it.”



1 •  n. A verbal message; an utterance.

Aniyaꞌ lapal bay pinabeyaꞌ min inaꞌnu ma Sitangkai.

There is a message sent from your mother at Sitangkai.

linkset: amanat, habal, hunub, lling2, haka, waham, himumungan



Variant: hakaʔ

1 •  n. News, information.

link: lapal

linkset: suli-suli


  1. AO-1.
  • To express something in speech, usually in a formal context.

Bang aniyaꞌ kami magbonoꞌ yukna, “Ai kabilahiyannu, magbono?” Yukku, “Angabtang sadja ka min tꞌdda, buwananta ka dakayuꞌ suntuk.”

If there are some of us fighting, he says, “What do you want, to fight?” I say, “Say one single word and I will give you a punch.”

Category: Utter

Gram: AO-1



  • A word or phrase.



1 •  n. The meaning of something.

Ataꞌu angahūgan maꞌana.

He knows how to explain meanings.

cf.: hati1, isi lling

2 •  v. AO-2. To provide a meaning for something; to explain something.

Gram: AO-2

hūg maꞌana

See main entry: hūg1,

  • To explain the meanings of words.

Ataꞌu si Makapiga angahūgan maꞌana.

Makapiga knows how to give the meanings of words.

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