Publication details [#58726]

Habib, Rania. 2014. Vowel variation and reverse acquisition in rural Syrian child and adolescent language. Language Variation and Change 26 (1) : 45–75.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Language as a subject
Place, Publisher
Cambridge University Press


This paper discusses how nonmigrant children and adolescents aged 6 to 18 years in the Syrian village Oyoun Al-Wadi, first acquire the urban and later the rural forms of 4 studied vowels; children can learn the second dialect rules after the age of 8. Gender appears important as boys and girls display varying linguistic behavior. Preadolescents seem the most effective age group in social identity construction. Social-psychological factors prompt the move from urban to rural forms. These contain local identity, variants' gendered social meanings, and children's sociolinguistic proficiency development throughout their (pre)adolescence.