University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics


Among the many voseante countries in the Spanish-speaking world, there is much variation in the verb forms affected. Despite the use of the pronoun vos, some verb inflections may remain in the tu form, while others take the vos form. Argentine Spanish is a dialect that is mostly voseante, but includes an alternation between the negative imperative that comes from the tuteo and the voseo negative imperative. Previous studies have indicated that these alternating imperatives are accompanied by a difference in pragmatic meaning. The present study expands on the work that has already been done on the alternation found among these imperatives. Data is presented from an online survey with 151 native speakers of Argentine Spanish, and a multivariate analysis using Rbrul explores the degree to which the pragmatic difference is manifested through a variety of social variables including gender, age and geography. Results indicate that along with speaker effects, gender is the most relevant social factor governing the choice between negative imperatives in this variety.