Four vowel variables are investigated in the speech of 50 rural, nonmigrant children and adolescents aged 6 to 18 years in the Syrian village Oyoun Al-Wadi. Contrary to previous studies, the children initially acquire the urban and later the rural forms of these vowels. This process of acquisition shows the following. First, children show reversal in the acquisition of forms, and thus the rules associated with them; instead of acquiring the local forms first, they acquire the supralocal forms. Second, children can acquire the rules of the second dialect after the age of 8. Third, gender emerges as significant as boys and girls exhibit different linguistic behavior. Fourth, preadolescents emerge as the age group that is most active in building a social identity. Fifth, social-psychological factors motivate the shift from urban to rural forms. These include local identity, gendered social meanings of the variants, and the growth of the children's sociolinguistic competence throughout their preadolescence and adolescence.