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GÉNERO GRAMATICAL

Se llama género a una característica gramatical de los sustantivos, artículos, adjetivos, participios y pronombres  que los clasifica en dos grupos: masculino y femenino. Carecen de género los adevrbios y los verbos (salvo los participios) y cierto número de partículas tienen género neutro.

  • El género de las palabras de cosas es el que el uso les ha asignado (a menudo heredado del latín).
  • El género de las palabras de personas es a menudo, aunque no siempre, el que corresponde a su sexo, en especial cuando se alude al origen (el ecuatoriano, la ecuatoriana) o la ocupación (el tendero, la tendera).
  • El género de las palabras de animales es, a menudo, independiente del sexo y es el que el uso les ha asignado.

La denominación de palabra común (en cuanto al género) se aplica a las que aluden a personas y que tienen una única forma para ambos géneros (el atleta, la atleta), mientras que la de palabra ambigua (en cuanto al género) alude a las de cosas y conceptos que se pueden usar en ambos géneros (el mar, la mar). En rigor no se trata de otros dos géneros, sino que aluden a la propiedad que tienen ciertas palabras de poderse usar tanto como masculinas como femeninas, por lo que hoy ya apenas se usan las denominaciones, habituales antaño, de género común y género ambiguo.

Antiguamente se incluía un género más, el epiceno, pero en la actualidad se prefiere hablar de sustantivos epicenos, pues en realidad son palabras que o bien son masculinas o bien son femeninas (o incluso en algún caso comunes).

Género según la terminación o significado

Género masculino. Son palabras masculinas:

  • La mayoría de las palabras que terminan en o. También tienen género masculino otras palabras que terminan en otras letras, como a,  Ejemplos: el cuaderno, el asta, el eje.
  • Los ríos, montes, volcanes, istmos, canales, esteros:el Guayas, el Chimborazo, el Perry, el Etna, el Salado
  • Los ciclones, incluyendo huracanes , tifones y tormentas tropicales: el Dorian, el Humberto. En caso de huracán se usa en masculino así el nombre del huracán sea femenino. Ejemplo. El Irma, El Katrina, El Lorena, etc
  • Los meses y los días de la semana:Fue un febrero muy lluvioso. Pasé un domingo aburrido..
  • La mayoría de los vientos (salvo brisa y tramontana). El Gregario, el Bora.
  • Las notas musicales:el lael fa bemol.
  • Los aumentativos  en on aplicados a cosas, aunque deriven de palabra femenina: el caserónel notición.
  • Los nombres de los puntos cardinales:el norte, el sur, el este, el oeste.
  • Los números: el trece, el seis, el 99.

 

Son palabras femeninas:

  • La mayoría de las palabras que terminan ena. También tienen género femenino otras palabras que terminan en otras letras, como o, e. Ejemplo: La casa, la moto, la calle.
  • Las letras:la jota, la k.

Hay nombres terminados en a que son, masculinos y también femeninos, según la acepción en que se usan. Ejemplo: Cura, sacerdote, es masculino. El cura de la parroquia. En las demás acepciones. Encontraron la cura para tu enfermedad

Género según el sexo de personas

En el género en función del sexo pueden darse tres casos.

1.- Dos géneros, dos formas Es el caso más frecuente en adjetivos y es bastante frecuente en sustantivos Las formas femenina y masculina se relacionan por la terminación.

Masculino Femenino Ejemplos
-o -a el abogado, la abogada
-e -ina el héroe, la heroína
consonante consonante + -ina el zar, la zarina
-o -esa el vampiro, la vampiresa; el diablo, la diablesa
-e -a el dependiente, la dependienta
-e -esa el alcalde, la alcaldesa; el jeque, la jequesa
consonante consonante + -a el capitán, la capitana; el andaluz, la andaluza
consonante consonante + -esa el abad, la abadesa; el barón, la baronesa
-tor -triz motor, motriz

Hay muchas excepciones y puede depender del lugar.

También hay pares irregulares, como doncel, doncella.

 2.- Dos géneros, una forma

Una palabra funciona en una única forma como femenina o masculina en función del sexo (se le llama común en cuanto al género):

Masculino Femenino Ejemplos
-a -a el/la periodista
-e -e el/la vidente
-i -i el/la marroquí
-o -o el/la contralto
-u -u el/la gurú

 

Ejemplo: El testigo fue muy claro en su relato. La testigo fue muy clara en su relato.

A menudo, las palabras de este grupo acaban pasando al anterior, sobre todo si acaban en o. Por ejemplo, socio era de género común hace un siglo (el socio, la socio), pero hoy tiene dos formas (el socio, la socia). En cambio, es insólito que en el par -a/-a la forma masculina acabe adoptando la forma -o; un caso excepcional es el modisto, a partir de el modista.

3.- La palabra es gramaticalmente femenina o masculina siempre, con independencia del sexo (son los nombres epicenos). Esta categoría suele originar errores de concordancia: Ejemplo: La primera persona en retirarse, que era un hombre bien borracho, fue despedido con un insulto. También se incluyen en este caso las palabras que se aplican a alguien de modo figurado: tesoro, corazón, estrella, maravilla, encanto. Ejemplo: Lizzeth, es el mayor tesoro de mi vida. Su hermana es un encanto

Alberto Spencer  fue una gran estrella

Palabras de este tipo recogidas en el Diccionario de la real Academia de la Lengua (DRAE) que en algunos de sus sentidos se usan bien en masculino bien en femenino para ambos sexos son:

 

la boca el alma la figura (también común) la tijera la visita
la persona la víctima la mano (esp. buenas manos) la fianza
la pantalla la pólvora sorda la bestia negra (pero bestia es común) la oveja negra
la gloria la autoridad la lumbrera la marioneta la vedette
la dignidad el diablo el tapado el peón
el correo el caballo el testaferro el familiar el pariente
el animal el cerebro el topo el enlace el buzón
el histrión el molde el preboste el reverso el personaje
el augur el parásito el prodigio el polizón el zombi

La Gramática ya recoge como comunes pariente y familiar (la pariente, la familiar en femenino).

Hay adjetivos que se puede usar como nombres epicenos: Ejemplo: El primitivo aplicable a persona o pueblo. Juan es un hombre primitivo.  El pueblo de Chongón es primitivo. También aplicable a el superior, cuando se refiere a personas que tienen otras a su cargo. Ejemplo: El superior dio órdenes claras y precisas.

Artículo principal: La. Los artículos femeninos la y una toman a menudo (aunque no siempre) la forma el  y un respectivamente cuando se anteponen a sustantivos femeninos que comienzan por /a/ tónica (gráficamente a- o ha-); así, decimos el águila, el aula o el hacha. Sin embargo, estas palabras siguen siendo de género femenino, por lo que todos los demás determinantes y palabras relacionadas con ellas deben escribirse siempre en femenino. La principal arma  de un delincuente es la pistola.

Además, si la y una no se encuentran inmediatamente antes de esas palabras, sino que hay otras en medio, siguen obligatoriamente en su forma normal: Me tomé toda fresca agua de la botella.

Descripción lingüística

El género gramatical es un sistema de clasificación nominal que poseen algunas lenguas en que los elementos nominales de las lenguas son clasificados dentro de un número finito de clases, para las cuales generalmente hay reglas de concordancia.

En las lenguas indoeuropeas típicamente el número de géneros varía entre dos y tres, normalmente masculino, femenino o neutro, de manera que concierta con una determinada flexión. En lenguas como las bantúes el número de clases nominales supera la decena.

El género es una propiedad lingüística en un idioma y no expresa a priori el sexo biológico, aunque en un cierto número de lenguas, entre ellas el español, uno o varios géneros se usen mayoritariamente para uno de los sexos biológicos.

 

El género en castellano

En castellano es una discriminación formal que posee capacidades contrastivas diversas. El sustantivo, el adjetivo  y el artículo (así como algunos pronombres) llevan marcas de género. Sirve para establecer concordancia entre un adejetivo  y el sustantivo al que califica y entre un artículo y el sustantivo  al que actualiza. La concordancia es algo más flexible cuando se trata de sujeto  y atributo.

El género masculino es la forma no marcada o inclusiva: si digo «los alumnos de esta clase», me refiero a alumnos de sexo masculino y femenino; el género gramatical femenino es la forma marcada y por tanto resulta la exclusiva o excluyente: si digo «las alumnas de esta clase», no me refiero también a los de sexo masculino, sino solamente a los de sexo femenino.

De ahí que se pueda considerar que en castellano un sustantivo puede estar marcado [+femenino], mientras que la ausencia de la marca femenina, [-femenina], es el masculino. Este último no está marcado para el femenino pero aun así puede incluir elementos femeninos. Indica generalmente, cuando se refiere a seres animados, sexo masculino o femenino, entre otras nociones.

Existe además el género neutro en los artículos (lo que sirve para sustantivar adjetivos y señalar conceptos abstractos: lo profundolo externo), los pronombres personales en tercera persona del singular (ello, lo), los demostrativos (esto, eso, aquello), algunos pronombres indefinidos (algo, nada) y los adverbios cuantificadores (cuanto, cuánto, tanto). Los adjetivos con ellos deben concordarse en masculino singular, dado que no tienen marcas específicas para el género neutro.

Entre las otras capacidades contrastivas del género gramatical español figuran las siguientes:

Masculino Femenino
pequeño (anillo, cubo) grande (anilla, cuba)
humano (cosechador, impresor) cosa (cosechadora, impresora)
elogioso (gallo, zorro) despectivo (gallina, zorra)
individual (leño) colectivo (leña)

Oposiciones como la que da valor despectivo al femenino tienen una larga tradición, pero van cayendo en desuso y han sido cuestionadas por quienes las consideran sexistas.

 

Acerca de Aurelio Paredes

Periodista de Profesión (Licenciado en Comunicación Social, graduado en la Universidad de Guayaquil), ecuatoriano de nacimiento, 59 años de edad y 37 años de experiencia. Empezó en 1982 como reportero radial y escaló posiciones hasta llegar a ser Editor de Deportes de Diario El Universo de Guayaquil, considerado el matutino de mayor circulación en Ecuador; Director de Revista Estadio (Deportiva) y Editor de Revista Vistazo (Política y Actualidad); presentador de televisión en varios programas deportivos; columnista de deportes y páginas humorísticas bajo el seudónimo de Delado; y guionista empírico en algunos programas de la televisión ecuatoriana. En la función pública fue Director de Comunicación de la Procuraduría General del Estado y en la empresa privada, Director de la Federación Deportiva Nacional del Ecuador.

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