Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Bidirectional linguistic change in rural child and adolescent language in Syria

Rania Habib


Investigating the spread of the urban feature the glottal stop [ ʔ ] in place of the rural voiceless  uvular stop [q] in the speech of rural children and adolescents in the Syrian village, Oyoun Al - Wadi, a  bidirectional linguistic change is observed. Girls retain their mothers’ urban feature in preadolescence and  adolescence; boys who initially acquire the urban feature start switching to the rural feature around age  eight and increase their use of this feature with age. Thus, the observed variation a nd changes are gender - and age - related and result from different meanings associated with urban and rural sounds.  Preadolescence emerges as the period in which kids are emotionally involved in building a social identity,  indicating early development of soc iolinguistic competence.

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