Tagalog - Kinship

Kin Groups and Descent. The basic unit is the sibling group, kamagkapatid ( kapatid = sibling). Usually there are terms for firstborn and lastborn: panganay and bunso. In some communities and families, terms borrowed from Chinese are used for numerical order of birth. Each marriage produces a nuclear family, kamaganakan ( anak = child), which is part of a bilaterally extended family with genealogical ties traced from specific ancestors (or sibling groups). Extended families are further affiliated in complex webs of obligation and rights (reckoned polylineally) through ties of marriage into a grouping sometimes called the angkan or pamilia and identified by patrilineal inheritance of surnames, which can be retained by women after marriage. The angkan may be a fairly definite unit, but more often it is similar to the U.S. pattern called the "family of the Smiths, Jones, etc." Kinship is extended as far as can be determined, so that strangers often begin interaction by comparing names of relatives to see if there are any ties. Affinity and ritual kinship are strongly embedded in the formation and recognition of wider relationships between individuals and families. Relationships, though dependent on genealogical and ritual ties, are continually instigated, maintained, and strengthened by proper behavior on the part of individuals showing acceptance of obligation and responsibility. This reciprocity is most often expressed by the term utang na looby or debt ( utang ) of volition-free will ( na loob ). Some analysts have emphasized the other meaning of looby "inside" (as opposed to labas, "outside"), which signifies a recognition that two individuals fall within the same network of inherited obligation. Utang na loob is initially produced by an unsolicited "gift," which creates or increases obligation within the receiver. The greatest obligation is to God and parents, who give life to the individual. Kinship relations are extended to nonrelatives or intensified between relatives through ritual sponsorship of individuals at baptism ( binyag ), confirmation ( kumpil ), and marriage ( kasal ).

Kinship Terminology. Referential and vocative terminologies including alternatives are mixtures of Tagalog, Spanish, and Chinese and vary from area to area. Referential terminology is very close to "Yankee" or Eskimo, while vocatively it can be more Hawaiian. There is no unilateral emphasis. Great-grandparents, grandparents, and parents' siblings are differentiated by gender. Cousins are not distinguished vocatively from siblings, and parents' siblings can be equated with parents. However, cousins are differentiated referentially from siblings to the third degree by numerically distinctive terms; beyond that, they are considered malayo (distant). There is a basic term for sibling (kapatid) and another for cousin ( pinsan ), either of which can be modified by adding a term indicating gender. Own children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren are differentiated from the descendants of siblings and cousins by separate basic terms with gender and generation modifiers. The prefix mag- attached to a term indicates a dyadic relationship: magama, father and child; magina, mother and child; magkapatid, two siblings; etc. Some affinal terms are not gender-specific: asawa (spouse); biyenan (parent-in-law); manugang (child-in-law). Some affinal terms are gender-specific: spouse's own siblings are hipag (female) and bayaw (male) ; but their spouse's siblings of either gender are bilas. Ritual terms are: kumari/kumpari (cogodmother/godfather) used between sponsors and parents of sponsored individuals; inaanak (godchild); and the usual kinship terms are extended to all sides of the ritual connection. Vocative terminology is primarily age- or status-based. Most frequently the personal name of the younger or junior person is used while the older or senior is addressed by a derivation of the referential term: ina is derived from nanay (mother) ; ka is from kapatid; etc. Relative status as to age or prestige of relatives and nonrelatives is often indicated by the use of po, ho, or oh in a descending order during conversation.

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