Chapter published in:Perception Metaphors
Edited by Laura J. Speed, Carolyn O'Meara, Lila San Roque and Asifa Majid
[Converging Evidence in Language and Communication Research 19] 2019
► pp. 347–368
Perception verbs in context
Perspectives from Kaluli (Bosavi) child-caregiver interaction
Perceptual language is a rich site of polysemous meaning and pragmatic extension. In this chapter, we explore the question of how children learning a language come to grips with this complexity, focusing on basic perception verbs as used in child-caregiver interaction in the language Bosavi, spoken in Papua New Guinea. We discuss creative and routinised instances of perception verb use in these interactions, and comment on connections to recognised cross-linguistic patterns of polysemy. Finally, we suggest ways that Christian missionisation and literacy practices may have influenced shifting uses of the language of sight and audition in the Bosavi context.
Keywords: polysemy, language socialisation, Papua New Guinea
Published online: 21 February 2019
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