A corpus study of grammatical differences between Uruguayan and Argentinian Spanish

David Ellingson Eddington

Abstract

This paper explores five grammatical features in Argentinian and Uruguayan Spanish using the Corpus del español. The goal is to find features that distinguish the speech of the two countries. The features studied are: (1) stress variation in 2nd person singular present subjunctive forms (e.g. téngas ~ tengás), (2) number agreement with había (e.g. habían ~ había muchos casos), (3) use of vos following prepositions (e.g. con vos ~ contigo), (4) use of present perfect versus preterite (e.g. recién he comido ~ comí), (5) use of the present or past subjunctive in embedded clauses preceded by a matrix clause containing a subjunctive trigger in the past tense (e.g. Nos mandaron que rellenáramos ~ rellenemos los papeles anoche). Statistical analyses were carried out on the proportion of each variant across the two countries, and significant differences were observed.

Keywords

corpus linguistics; Uruguay; Argentina; dialectology

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