Uruguayan Spanish (Spanish: Español uruguayo o castellano uruguayo) is the variety of Spanish spoken in Uruguay and by the Uruguayan diaspora. Uruguayan Spanish is rioplatense Spanish but it differs from the rioplatense spoken in Argentina in a few words. For example, Uruguayans use the word championes ("sneakers") instead of the Argentine zapatillas.
- There is strong influence of Italian and its dialects because of the presence of large Italian communities (for example in Montevideo and Paysandú). The Uruguayan accent differs from the accents of Spain and other Spanish American countries, except for Argentina, due to Italian influence. There are many Italian words incorporated in the language (nona, cucha, fainá ("farinata, chickpea flour crêpe"), chapar, parlar, festichola ("house party"), etc.), as well as words of Italian derivation (for example: mina derived from femmina, or pibe ("child") from pivello).
- In the southeastern department of Rocha, as well as along the northern border with Brazil there is some influence of Portuguese, with Portuguese/Spanish code-switching known as Portuñol.
Tuteo and voseo
The variety used in Montevideo and the whole southern region exhibits voseo, with the pronoun vos used instead of tú. In the rest of the country tú is more commonly used instead of vos. In some areas, tú is used, but with the conjugation corresponding to vos, as in: tú tenés, instead of tú tienes (tuteo) or vos tenés (voseo).
The formal pronoun usted is used in very formal contexts, such as when speaking to government authorities.
- D. Lincoln Canfield, Spanish Pronunciation in the Americas (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981), p. 89.