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Hmong-Americans in Wisconsin use the semantic resources of the Hmong language and social semantic connotations of the naming system to create meaning in personal names. Name changes can be made for functional reasons: a name change can be done to protect the individual against ghosts, spirits or illness. Name changes can also mark life status changes: women gain a new name when they marry, while men are re-named by their parents-in-law, usually after the birth of the first child.
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