[tlhIngan Hol] new word: chotlh

De'vID de.vid.jonpin at gmail.com
Thu Nov 11 13:29:51 PST 2021

On Thu, 11 Nov 2021 at 22:23, janSIy . <kenjutsuka at live.com> wrote:

> 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.

It might be helpful (or maybe unhelpful) to think of not using an object
with this verb as implicitly using {pagh} as the object.

{nuq Dachotlh?} "Watcha staring at?"
{pagh vIchotlh} / {jIchotlh neH} "Nuttin'."

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