Parents and their children's variable language: Is it acquisition or more?


This study compares the use of the variable (q), which is realized as rural [q] and urban [ʔ], in the speech of twenty-two parents and their twenty-one children from the village of Oyoun Al-Wadi in Syria. The study shows that children acquire the general gendered linguistic pattern of the community but do not replicate the linguistic frequencies that exist in their immediate environment. Boys and girls exhibit different linguistic behavior. Boys deviate from the non-local caregivers' proportions and approach men's local linguistic behavior, although their local variant proportions remain lower; girls, even those with local mothers, approach the women's supralocal variant proportions. The study shows that sociolinguistic variation is not acquired from adults from a very early age; it is acquired later in life after accepting and ascertaining the gendered linguistic differences and appropriateness norms.

DOI: 10.1017/S0305000916000155

Cite this paper

@article{Habib2017ParentsAT, title={Parents and their children's variable language: Is it acquisition or more?}, author={Rania Habib}, journal={Journal of child language}, year={2017}, volume={44 3}, pages={628-649} }