Variation and Culture in Laiholh Psycho-Collocations

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Greyson Yandt

Abstract

As shown in previous research, psycho-collocations are a feature of Laiholh, a Tibeto-Burman language in the Kuki-Chin family, that are used to express emotions or physical feelings through metaphor. Because psycho-collocations use metaphor, they experience metaphor variation and can encode cultural information relevant to the understanding of their meanings. The present paper compares the psycho-collocations reported in a study published in 1998 to the psycho-collocations reported by a 21-year-old male speaker of Laiholh from a diaspora community in Indianapolis to show how much these psycho-collocations vary in use, in meaning, and in construction between speakers; furthermore, to show how the deeper cultural information encoded in certain psycho-collocations acts as context for a more meaningful understanding.

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