[tlhIngan Hol] new word: chotlh

janSIy . kenjutsuka at live.com
Thu Nov 11 13:23:30 PST 2021

jatlh ghunchu'wI'

> I'm unsure about what the fundamental meaning of {chotlh} actually is. It can be
> used for looking intently at something, but also for not looking at anything? It
> sounds as if it's actually two somewhat related words, one used only with an object
> and one used only without.

I don't think it's about intent, focus, or thought at all, whether there is an object or not.  It's a description of an external physical action and makes no reference at all to the internal perceptions or interpretations.  You know that look that people have sometimes like they are staring very intensely at something, like they are so focused on something that they almost ignore everything else going on around them, but then when you ask them what they are looking at, they say, "nothing, I was just thinking."  Maybe it looks to you like they are carefully watching the fish in the tank in front of them, but when you ask them, they say they didn't even notice the fish, they were thinking about something and didn't even see it.  It's that look on the face that this word describes and not the thought process going on in the head.  If they actually were looking at the fish with this kind of intense stare, then that fish would be the grammatical object of their staring.  But if they were not actually staring at something specific and just had that look on their face while they were thinking about something else, then there is no grammatical object to be found for the stare.

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