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157557Re: Semantic Content of Grammatical Gender?

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  • Ollock Ackeop
    Feb 1, 2009
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      On Sat, 31 Jan 2009 16:13:52 -0600, Chris Peters <beta_leonis@...>

      >> One little nit: If I understand you corrrectly this is not always so. >
      There is a difference between 'el papa' and 'la papa.' That's the only > one
      that comes to mind, but there may be others.> > Charlie
      >One other example I've heard about this (which may be an urban legend, so
      please correct me if my understanding is in error): "El Presidente" in
      Spanish means "The President, while the feminine equivalent, "La
      Presidente", means literally "The First Lady." And this fact (??) led to
      some interesting linguistic dilemmas when various South American countries
      started electing their first women heads of state ...

      Looks like an urban legend to me. Word-reference shows "first lady" as
      "primera dama". Also, it lists the feminine of "presidente" as "presidenta"
      -- not "presidente" -- which is interesting, maybe the irregular marking
      comes from those countries wanting to emphasize that they have a female

      I also didn't find anything like this involving the synonym "mandatario"
      (political leader).
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