No, there is no distinction in contexts, as far as return values from subroutines are concerned; I believe Larry Wall has admitted that the name really should be wantlist. The output is a list which can be used as-is or assigned to an array (or hash or whatever) if desired.
However, there are some subs which expect their arguments to be array variables (because the variable's data will be altered). Examples include pop() and shift().
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