Multiple Argentinian dialects? You may be more familiar with the “Porteño” dialect, found in Buenos Aires. Being the capital and most populated city in the country, its accent has become well known around the world, for its “Italian” style and its exaggerated sound of the “s” in words, apart from the two language features called “Yeísmo” and “Voseo” covered in another post.
But this is not the only dialect found in Argentina, with 41 million inhabitants and more than 2 million square km going from the southernmost of South America up to the border with Bolivia, experiencing different climate conditions in each region and with a vast geography including mountains, glaciers, fields, rivers, ocean, hills, deserts, where cosmopolitan cities and small villages have grown to be part of a country full of diversity.
For these very reasons, dialects found across this nation are totally different one another, whether it is for the pronunciation of certain sounds, the rhythm of their speech or the use of specific grammar structures, just to mention a few examples.
Let’s classify them into these categories:
Rioplatense Spanish: This dialect is the one spoken mostly in Buenos Aires and Uruguay, being both parts of the Río de la Plata region. Both accents are alike. Some of its main features are:
- The use of “voseo” to replace the “tú” (People say for instance: “Vos sos mi amigo” instead of saying “Tú eres mi amigo” – which means “you are my friend” as verbs in the present and imperative forms are conjugated differently).
- The preference for the immediate future (“Voy a ir”) instead of “Iré” and the use of simple past forms (“Fui”, “Estuve”) instead of complex forms such as “he ido”, “he estado”.
- Lunfardo (Covered in another post), the use of certain words originated by the Italians influence, like “pibe” which comes from the Italian word for boy “pivetto”, and many others.
- Yeísmo: The pronunciation of “elle” sound as the “sh” sound in English.
- An intonation and rhythm very similar to Italian, and also to Spanish.
2. Cuyo Spanish: This is the Spanish dialect spoken in the provinces of Mendoza, San Juan, and certain areas in La Pampa, La Rioja, San Luis and Neuquén. Due to its proximity with Chile, it has many similarities, for instance, the pronunciation of the “r” sound and the “elle”.
Also, they tend to use complex verb forms of tenses such as “he ido” or “he viajado”.
But this area is influenced by others as well, so each province has been influenced by other provinces close to them (for instance San Luis shares certain characteristics with Spanish from Córdoba).
3. Cordobés Spanish: The Spanish spoken in Córdoba is popular across the country for being funny, and when you hear them speak they seem to be “singing”. One feature is they tend to extend the length of the last syllables. Some historians say this dialect differs from the rest because it is influenced by a tribe that lived in that area long time ago, called “Comechingones”.
4. Andino Spanish: This dialect, which is shared with other countries such as Perú and Bolivia, is spoken in the north of Argentina.
It is influenced by two local dialects called “quechua” and “aimara”. Some of the features including the use of complex verb tenses instead of the simple forms; and the different sounds for “y” and “ll”. There are many others we’ll be describing in future posts.
5. Paraguayan Spanish: Because of the proximity to Paraguay, certain areas of Argentina are influenced by its dialect, such as Corrientes, Formosa, the north of Santa Fe and Entre Ríos and Misiones. They share some features of other Argentinian dialects. For instance, they use the “voseo” from Río de la Plata. But they have some unique features: the use of the personal pronoun “le” to replace “lo” and “la” in direct complement and they are influenced by local dialects such as “guaraní”, “lunfardo” (described in 1) and others.
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