The Royal Spanish Academy (RAE) will approve the opinion this afternoon
on the inclusive language in the Constitution that was requested twice by the Vice President of the Government Carmen Calvo. As ABC has already published, the Academy has not found reasons to change its widely accepted criteria in the field of the Spanish language in its meticulous analysis of the constitutional text. As this newspaper has been able to confirm, the document defends as correct the wording of the Magna Carta approved by the Courts and in a referendum in 1978, but has extended its work for more than a month to make a complete revision of the document that the Vice President of the Government He will have tomorrow on his table.
In fact, the “Inclusive language and Constitution” report, made jointly by two academics, Paz Battaner and Inés Fernández Ordóñez, and two academics, Ignacio Bosque and Pedro Álvarez de Miranda, has been enriched with a new annex on this second occasion , whose purpose, according to sources from the SAR to ABC, is none other than to explain in more detail the reasons on which the criterion of the Docta House is based.
The truth is that the opinion does not deviate from the grammatical orthodoxy already expressed repeatedly by the SAR and in fact has the almost unanimous support of academics. The conclusion is that the Constitution is well written from an inclusive point of view.
Being a criterion clearly contrary to that expressed by members of the Government and especially now with the coalition in which United Podemos has entered, which bears the feminine gender in its name, the RAE decision will be read critically with certainty. Because it is an opinion requested by the Vice Presidency, today its content will not be made public, even until there is government authorization.
In the annex, for the aforementioned reasons, the grammatical and scientific arguments have been extended by which the institution maintains its criteria without changes and also, it seems, examples of constitutions such as Colombia and especially Venezuela, in which the introduction of duplication has generated problems.
Fundamental rights and freedoms
Sources with knowledge of the case express to ABC the concern that has been raised among jurists, since the reform of the text to duplicate with inclusive language could obscure the interpretation of the text. “And the question of clarity is essential in a Constitutional text because it depends on fundamental rights and freedoms that could see its interpretation modified, as could be the case with the characteristics and attributions of State institutions.”
The first version of the opinion was requested by Carmen Calvo in the Equality Committee of the Congress of Deputies and the academy launched it in 2018, when Darío Villanueva was still director. The acceptance of the assignment caused some tension as some academics considered that the SAR had already expressed the grammar doctrine sufficiently.
After the election date of April 2019, already in summer, Carmen Calvo insisted on the assignment last summer. In words said then by the new director of the SAR, Santiago Muñoz Machado, the institution had to finish the work and take care of the assignment. Process that concludes today with the approval of the new report.
Technical and neutral report
In the end, the criterion does not change because it is the one that has always defended the SAR and «the only one backed by the majority use of the language». The result, after the review carried out in the Plenary sessions held in December and January, is a “technical and neutral report” whose basis is, despite the invasion of gender duplications that we hear in political debates, in the norm that is accepted For all the speakers.
Already in the “Book of Spanish language style”, the SAR made it clear where it went from and its opinion continues: all the variables of the double gender are unnecessary (the inclusive “all and all”, “all”, “all »Or« everyone »). In addition, the masculine gender, “for being the unmarked, can include the feminine in certain contexts.”
It should be remembered that, in his last interview with ABC, Muñoz Machado recalled that the SAR would make a reasonable and reasoned study of the case: «If the SAR is consulted to know if the Constitution is well or badly worded, we will gladly study it. If it is to request a boost from the Academy so that there are changes in the language, I have to say that that does not apply to us, ”he concludes.
In his day, Calvo announced that he would take the report to the Constitutional Commission and to the Equality of Congress. It is possible that, given the result, the vice president understands that grammatically speaking, no other solution is possible. Or maybe I don’t value the effort made by the most valued cultural institution in the Hispanic world. .