Res facta quae tamen fingi potuit (pauamma) wrote in linguaphiles,
Res facta quae tamen fingi potuit

Adjectives imported from Spanish and genderness in Tagalog

So I've been mulling over and whether gendered adjectives ending in -a/-o imported from Spanish have any bearing in the genderedness of Tagalog. I asked a native speaker about those adjectives, and she never heard of simpatiko/a and komiko/a. She knows about tonto/a, but she would use another (ungendered) word instead, and couldn't say anything about gender agreement for tonto/a. She couldn't think of other -o/-a word pairs, except tio/a, and probing about other common kinship terms didn't bring up others.

So my first set of questions to native/fluent speakers reading this is: Do you use/hear "tonto/a", "komiko/a", or "simpatiko/a", and if you do, with what gender agreement if any? What other -o/a adjectives do know, and do they show gender agreement?

Next, I collected ghits for some gendered phrases and countergendered phrases ("Filipino/a lalaki" = "Filipino man", "Filipina/o babae"1 = "Filipino woman", "tonto/a lalaki" = "stupid man", "tonta/o babae" = "stupid woman", and a bunch of equivalent phrases, and I got the following results listed (with the corresponding Google search URLs) below, and tabulated further down. When there were too many hits for me to cull spurious hits by hand, I added search arguments until no spurious hit would appear on the first page. This is the reason for the baroque and contorted arguments in some of the URLs below.

"Filipina/o babae" and variants
"filipina babae": About 660 results
"filipinang babae": About 71 results
"babae filipina": About 852 results
"babaeng filipina": About 2,970 results
"pilipina babae": About 60 results
"pilipinang babae": About 317 results
"babae pilipina": About 203 results
"babaeng pilipina": About 3,650 results
"filipino babae": About 645 results
"filipinong babae": 8 results
"babae filipino": About 161 results
"babaeng filipino": About 1,450 results
"pilipino babae": About 253 results
"pilipinong babae": About 1,310 results
"babae pilipino": About 321 results
"babaeng pilipino": About 1,920 results

"Filipino/a lalaki" and variants
"filipina lalaki": 1 result
"filipinang lalaki": 0 results
"lalaki filipina": 6 results
"lalaking filipina": 1 result
"pilipina lalaki": 0 results
"pilipinang lalaki": 0 results
"lalaki pilipina": 0 results
"lalaking pilipina": 2 results
"filipino lalaki": About 172 results
"filipinong lalaki": About 72 results
"lalaki filipino": About 239 results
"lalaking filipino": About 594 results
"pilipino lalaki": About 56 results
"pilipinong lalaki": About 439 results
"lalaki pilipino": About 35 results
"lalaking pilipino": About 5,450 results

Isolated words, for comparison
filipina: About 18,800,000 results
pilipina: About 18,800,000 results
filipino: About 186,000,000 results
pilipino: About 9,980,000 results
babae: About 7,010,000 results
babaeng: About 2,180,000 results
lalaki: About 4,220,000 results
lalaking: About 927,000 results

"tonta/o babae" and variants
"tonta babae": 5 results (some of which are embedded in Spanish, not Tagalog)
"tontang babae": 3 results
"babae tonta": 2 results
"babaeng tonta": 9 results
"tonto babae": About 27 results
"tontong babae": 0 results
"babae tonto": 2 results
"babaeng tonto": 0 results

"tonto/a lalaki" and variants
"tonta lalaki": 1 result
"tontang lalaki": 1 result
"lalaki tonta": 0 results
"lalaking tonta": 0 results
"tonto lalaki": 1 result
"tontong lalaki": 1 result
"lalaki tonto": 0 results
"lalaking tonto": 0 results

Table for "Filipina/o babae" and variants

 {adj} babae{adj}ng babaebabae {adj}babaeng {adj}Total
Total -a720388105566208783
Total -o898131848233706068
a/o ratio

Table for "Filipino/a lalaki" and variants

 {adj} lalaki{adj}ng lalakilalaki {adj}lalaking {adj}Total
Total -o22851127460447057
Total -a106310
o/a ratio

Table for "tonta/o babae" and variants

 {adj} babae{adj}ng babaebabae {adj}babaeng {adj}Total
a/o ratio0.18-1-0.65

Table for "tonto/a lalaki" and variants

 {adj} lalaki{adj}ng lalakilalaki {adj}lalaking {adj}Total
o/a ratio11--1

Two things stand out from the above, and I have no idea what causes them.

- "Filipino/a man/woman" ("filipino/a lalaki/babae" and assorted variants) shows a pronounced gender-related usage pattern, but it seems far more complex than gender agreement alone would make it. While "filipino lalaki" is overwhelming more common (-o/-a ratio is about 700), the -a/-o ratio for "babae" is only 1.44 overall, and it swings wildly (from 0.23 to 8.87) depending on the variant you look at.

- Because the -a variants are more common above, I expected "tonta babae" or variants of that to be more common as well, but the variants using "tonto" are actually more common, 29 to 19 overall. (For "stupid man", "tonto lalaki", there are 2 ghits each, but I'm not sure how meaningful it, because of the low count.)

So this is my 2nd set of questions: Does anyone have an explanation or tentative explanation for the above findings? Can someone suggest other gendered or countergendered phrases to look at for clues?

1^ No, Google. No, dammit! I'm not looking for "filipina babes"! How many times do I have to tell you?
Tags: filipino, gender, tagalog

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