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Syracuse University, College of Arts and Sciences

Rania Habib

Habib portrait

Associate Professor

Arabic Program Coordinator

Linguistics and Arabic

Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics


Linguistic Studies


325 HB Crouse Hall

Research and Teaching Interests

Dr. Habib specializes in sociolinguistics particularly language variation and change. She is also interested in bilingualism, cross-cultural communication, Child and adolescent language and Second Language/Dialect Acquisition, phonology, Pragmatics, and Syntax. Her research focuses on linguistic variation and change in rural and urban varieties of Syrian Arabic, applying diverse quantitative and qualitative methods of analysis and exploring the interaction among and influence of diverse factors on language variation and change – linguistic, social, psychological, and pragmatic.


  • ARB 102: Arabic II
  • ARB 301: Arabic V
  • ARB 302: Arabic VI
  • CAS 101: First Year Forum
  • LIN 371-671: Dimensions of Bilingualism and Multiculturalism
  • LIN 373-673: Language Variation and Change
  • ARB 326/LIN 326-626: Structure of Standard Arabic
  • ARB/LIT/MES 336: Arabic Cultures


  • Ph.D. in Linguistics, University of Florida (2008).
  • M.A. in Linguistics, University of Florida (2005).
  • Certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language, University of Florida (2005).
  • Arabic Instructor Training Seminar, Middlebury College (2004).
  • Teacher’s Training Course, Al-Baath University, Syria (2001).
  • Higher Studies Diploma in English Literary Studies, Al-Baath University, Syria (2000).
  • B.A. in English Literature, Al-Baath University, Syria (1999).


  • Associate Professor, Department of Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics, Syracuse University. Affiliated with Middle Eastern Studies Program, 2015-Present.
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics, Syracuse University. Affiliated with Middle Eastern Studies Program, 2008-2015.
  • Visiting Lecturer, Department of African and Asian Languages and Literatures, University of Florida, 2007-2008.
  • Graduate Assistant and Adjunct Lecturer, Linguistics Program, University of Florida, 2003- 2005 & 2006-2007.
  • Research Assistant, Linguistics Program, University of Florida, 2005-2006.
  • Associate Director, The Language Institute, Al-Baath University, Syria, 2001-2003.
  • Instructor, The Language Institute, Al-Baath University, Syria, 2000-2003.
  • Instructor, Department of Petroleum and Chemical Engineering, Al-Baath University, Syria, 2000-2001.


  • Coordinator of the Arabic Program, Syracuse University, 2008-present.
  • Associate Director of The Language Institute, Al-Baath University, Syria, 2001-2003.


Habib, Rania (Ed.). 2001. Proceedings of the 1st International English Teaching Conference: “Practical Issues in Teaching and Evaluating English as a Foreign Language”. Hims, Syria: Al-Baath University Press.

Journal Articles

2017. Children's deviation in the acquisition of variable linguistic gender patterns. Macrolinguistics 5(6), 65-94. doi: 10.26478/ja2017.5.6.4.

2017. Parents and their children’s variable language: Is it acquisition or more? Journal of Child Language, 44(3), 628-649. (First view/Published online March 11, 2016). doi: 10.1017/S0305000916000155.

2016. Identity, ideology, and attitude in Syrian rural child and adolescent speech. Linguistic Variation 16(1), 34-67.

2016. Bidirectional linguistic change in rural child and adolescent language in Syria. Dialectologia 16, 117-141.

2014. Vowel variation and reverse acquisition in rural Syrian child and adolescent language. Language Variation and Change 26(1), 45-75.

2012. ’Imala and rounding in a rural Syrian variety: Morpho-phonological and lexical conditioning. Canadian Journal of Linguistics/Revue canadienne de linguistique 57(1), 51–75.

2011. Meaningful variation and bidirectional change in rural child and adolescent language. University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistic 17(2), 81-90, Article 10. Available at:

2011. Frequency effects and the lexical split in the use of [t] and [s] and [d] and [z] in the Syrian Arabic of Christian Rural Migrants. Journal of Historical Linguistics 1 (1), 77-105.

2011. New model for bilingual minds in sociolinguistic variation situations: Interacting social and linguistic constraints. International Journal of Psychology Research 6 (6), 707-760.

2010. Rural Migration and Language Variation in Hims, Syria. SKY Journal of Linguistics 23, 61-99. Available at:

2010. Word Frequency and the Acquisition of the Arabic Urban Prestigious Form [ʔ]. Glossa 5 (2), 198-219. Available at:

2010. Towards determining social class in Arabic-speaking communities and implications for linguistic variation. Sociolinguistic Studies 4 (1), 175-200.

2008. Humor and disagreement: Identity construction and cross-cultural enrichment. Journal of Pragmatics 40 (6), 1117-1145.

Book Chapters

2018. Use of Standard Arabic [q]-Lexical-Borrowings in Syrian Rural Migrant Speech. In Elizabeth Seale and Christine Mallinson (Eds.), Rural Voices: Language, Identity, and Social Change across Place [Studies in Urban-Rural Dynamics Series], 127-142. Lehman, MD: Lexington Books by Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group.

2018. How to uncover social variables. In Christine Mallinson, Becky Childs, and Gerard Van Herk (Eds.), Data Collection in Sociolinguistics: Methods and Applications (Second Edition), 30-32. London/New York: Routledge-Taylor & Francis Groups.

2018. The effect of TV and internal and external contact on variation in rural child language. In Reem Bassiouney (Ed.), Identity and Dialect Performance: A Study of Communities and Dialects [Routledge Studies in Language and Identity Series], 340-355. New York: Routledge.

2011. Sequential Development in Sociolinguistic Methodology. In Edmund T. Spencer, Sociolinguistics [Languages and Linguistics Series], 27-45. Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers, Inc.

2011. New Model for Analyzing Sociolinguistic Variation: Introducing Social Constraints to Stochastic Optimality Theory. In Edmund T. Spencer, Sociolinguistics [Languages and Linguistics Series], 47-97. Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers, Inc.

2009. The syntax of the Standard Arabic particles ʔan and ʔanna. In Kleanthes Grohmann andPhoevos Panagiotidis (Eds.), Selected Papers from the 2006 Cyprus Syntaxfest, 159-194. Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Conference Proceedings

2018. Standard Arabic [q]-Lexical-Borrowings in the Speech of Syrian Rural Migrants. Proceedings of the Linguistics Society of America 3. 51:1-12.

2001. Developing materials for the English class. Proceedings of the 1st International English Teaching Conference, 32-36. Hims: Al-Baath University Press.

Book Reviews

2007. Review of Introducing Sociolinguistics by Miriam Meyerhoff. (London & New York: Routledge (Taylor and Francis)), 2006. LINGUIST List issue number 18.2420.

2007. Review of Perspectives on Arabic Linguistics XVI: Papers from the Sixteenth Annual Symposium on Arabic Linguistics (Current Issues in Linguistic Theory 266) ed. by Sami Boudelaa (Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 2006). LINGUIST List issue number 18.554.

Non-Academic Publications

Volunteering to Enrich American School Children. In the Fulbright Alumni Newsletter, Fulbright Focus (The AMIDEAST Alumni Newsletter of the Fulbright Foreign Student Program), Spring/Summer 2006 edition.