De apelativos y calificadores en español


  • Cristina Illamola University of Barcelona
  • Emma Martinell Gifre University of Barcelona



appellatives, qualifiers, Spanish gender, grammatical gender, variation


In this article, we will deal with forms whose function within the discourse is basically to qualify (in general, they are essentially attributes) and whose proliferation responds to a need that goes far beyond linguistic issues, since a group of social factors must be taken into consideration. Thus, we will examine pieces that can be defined as qualifying adjectives (cateto/cateta, cenizo/ceniza), as derived nouns (bocazas), as nouns bearing a metaphorical value (cobaya, tesoro), as nominalized adjectives (rubiales. frescales), as well as those that respond to an appealing function (tronco, enano) or others that come from cultural traditions (adán, ídolo, judas).

After, we present our starting hypotheses: 1) the ending -a, as a carrier of reference to 'woman', is diluted in the heterogeneity of considered forms; 2) the role of the article (el/la, un/una) is decisive in the presence of these forms; 3) newly formed forms coexist with old forms; and, above all, 4) in the use of these appreciative forms there does not seem to be awareness of a woman/man reference emanating from the end in -a or -o, or any other.

To corroborate them, we have selected around forty voices and examined their use and prevalence in the online versions of CORDE, CREA, CORPES XXI, various editions of Diccionario de la lengua (RAE) and Diccionario inverso de la lengua española.

Finally, the analysis leads us to affirm that, in the use of these nominal forms, the endings in -e, -i /-is or -o to apply to a female referent are not rejected, nor, on the contrary: many forms ending in -a do not know a transformation into –o to apply to a male referent. Moreover, the language avoids any possible ambiguity with the application of the article, derivation by suffixes or by an attributive structure.




How to Cite

Illamola, Cristina, and Emma Martinell Gifre. 2019. “De Apelativos Y Calificadores En español”. Bergen Language and Linguistics Studies 10 (1):14.