The RAE recommends unfolding king and queen in the Constitution | Culture

The RAE recommends unfolding king and queen in the Constitution | Culture

The word queen appears in the Constitution of 1978 with a single purpose: as consort of the king. In the report that four philologists of the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE) They will submit to the plenary session of the institution next week, they recommend that in the articles referring to the crown one chooses as king or queen and prince or princess. The rest of the norm that governs democracy hardly needs changes in that sense according to the criteria of the experts. This will be sent to the Government to act as it sees fit after they approve it in the plenary session of the institution.

When in the swearing in of the Council of Ministers, a large part of the members of the Government split their commitment to the king with that double allusion to their functions, the members of the Royal Spanish Academy knew at once that the debate on inclusive language would be considered. In fact, it was one of the first initiatives taken by the vice president and in charge of Equality, Carmen Calvo.

On July 10, Calvo announced in the Congress of Deputies that he had requested a report to the RAE to study, he said, "the adequacy of the Spanish Constitution to an inclusive language, correct, true and consistent with the reality of a democracy that transits between men and women. " The vice president went ahead with the event itself. Because the order arrived by letter to the office of the then director of the RAE, Darío Villanueva, weeks later

In the official petition, Calvo specified that gender issues and issues of inclusive language were one of the priorities of the current Government and that, therefore, they asked the members of the institution for a report on the matter. Immediately afterwards, Villanueva appointed a joint commission of four members to elaborate it. The elected leaders were Paz Battaner, Inés Fernández-Ordóñez, Pedro Álvarez de Miranda and Ignacio Bosque.

The Forest doctrine

When members of the RAE are asked about the inclusive language debate, they all tend to refer to a common position: the Bosque doctrine. This is what they call it, without caring that the term doctrine does not fit the 21st century.

But they do it to avoid uncomfortable polemics in the face of public light, which, however, are recurrent – and very exacerbated, sometimes – in plenary matters. The Forest doctrine was fixed in Ignacio Bosque's report Linguistic sexism and visibility of women. It was elaborated to draw attention to non-sexist language guides published by various institutions. It was subscribed by the 26 academics of number and maintains that, although there are sexist verbal uses, the recommendations of these guides spread uses alien to the practices of the speakers, violate grammatical norms, cancel necessary distinctions and obviate the reality that there is no discrimination in the lack of correspondence between gender and sex. Its publication raised strong debates that have not been diluted, but reaffirmed by several groups in different areas.

However, the RAE has not publicly moved its position, something that it does now with the new report that will be raised in February to the Government.

The four have dedicated the summer and the autumn to its elaboration. In December they had it ready, but last month's plenary sessions were dedicated to the election of the new director, Santiago Muñoz Machado. In his first appearance, he announced that the report was ready and that he would submit it to the debate in plenary throughout January. Once approved, they will raise it to the Government and, according to the criteria of the RAE, it must be the executive who decides what to do with it.

The debate in the plenary is scheduled for next Thursday 31 and changes, nuances and a lively debate on the proposal are expected. But the content of the report prepared with the total consensus of the four in charge of doing so hardly suggests changes in the norm. None of them reveals its content, but, as EL PAÍS has learned, the most relevant aspects would be the suggested aspects of the Title II: the crown.

In this one almost alludes to a unique possibility like figure in charge of the parliamentary monarchy: the king. Therefore, scholars suggest that the term be split into two genders: king and queen. The same applies to the line of succession. In article 57 thereof Title II the heir prince is alluded to. In this case, the reality has gone ahead with the princess Leonor and should be recognized as such in the text.

The rest of the study supports the doctrine of the RAE on gender issues. It was fixed in the report that Ignacio Bosque made under the title of Linguistic sexism and visibility of women in 2012. It serves as a basis for the position of the Academy in all the debate that has taken place over the last few years. In it, Bosque indicates that the grammatical structure of Spanish exists a non-marked and inclusive gender, which is usually masculine. Unfolding it would affect the economy of language, he believes.

The members of the commission have also done a comparative study with several European and Spanish-American constitutions to see how inclusive language is treated in them. The Spanish, apparently, does not go badly stopped.

The RAE tries to remain on the sidelines as an institution of the controversies raised by the issue. But they regularly discuss these issues and have become aware of some currents. The approach to the development of Dictionary Paz Battaner is and in recent years has been a hairstyle in many definitions that were offensive and out of place.

The Government's initiative has touched them completely and in the committee formed different sensitivities have come together. The most open to these questions is Inés Fernández-Ordoñez, who has had different encounters in the plenary sessions with other colleagues more closed to the flexibility of the language in gender issues. She is the youngest academic of the plenary session and her drive shows. But he does not comment on the content of the report, beyond this: "The Constitution is written in a type of formal and administrative language that is not the common street language in which you can take more licenses. It has its own, more rigid codes. "

Pedro Álvarez de Miranda, author of Gender and language (Turner), warns that there will be great surprises that differ from what Forest once raised. "Our agreement in his day regarding inclusive issues was clear: language is not ideologizable matter," says the academic.


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