Word Study: “Change”

Unsurprisingly, tahori have a variety of words involving change, the most obvious being their own species name. Ho is the root that means change, which at its basest level means one thing ceasing to be A and starting to be B. There is no implication of the time it takes to change or the permanence or impermanence of the change, only that something changes. Hori, the verb “to change,” is such a broad sweeping verb as to be almost useless, even for tahori who are very fond of wide meanings. Ta-, then, is a prefix that indicates the outer covering of a living thing: skin, hide, fur, pelt, even scaled or feathered skins. (Anatomically, this frequently includes the outermost layer of fat and sometimes even surface musculature, plus claws, teeth, lips, eyes, ears, etc.)

You may notice that tahori have named themselves with a verb. This is largely due to the fact that they never stop changing, so they felt it fitting to be verbs instead of static nouns. Tahoku, a skin-change, is the word they use to mark their transitions between taku, their three “skins” or distinct body-shapes.

There are plenty of other words that branch from the root ho. Nenhoku, for example, a person-change; a change in personality and/or behaviors stark enough that the person may as well be someone else. Relatedly, nenhori is to change one’s own character, usually used in positive terms of self-improvement, often associated with the acquisition of new skillsets. Shuth-hori is the verb for seasons changing. Tihch-hori (day) and rhahori (night) are the verbs for the day becoming night and vice versa, so tihch-hoku is sunset and rhahoku is sunrise.

Zech-hoku is a change in a battle or other physical conflict, a turning of the tide. Mulhoku is the moment when understanding dawns, or when it leaves and is replaced by confusion. Gumhori is the change of an individual into a parent. Rahori is the changing of a mood, with rahoku being the emotional shift itself. And so it goes.

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