The Language of Okoto
I’m afraid I have indeed succumbed to the secret vice once again. It was probably inevitable, even though the linguistic material incorporated into Generation 2 of Bionicle is admittedly quite a bit less than the material that was available in Generation 1. Ultimately, however, I decided that the lack of material shouldn’t deter creativity, and so this series of posts has grown and expanded to a pretty decent size (roughly 10 posts) over the past month or so.
Before getting to the issue at hand, I’ll note that I am indebted to this topic for some of the inspiration, so credit where credit is due! I posted a first sketch of these ideas in that topic, and I encourage others to join in on the conversation there. The reason I’ve decided to splinter this off into a series of blog posts is...well, there’s a lot of material here, and I have no desire to squash other people’s creativity, which this material would threaten to do if I just flooded the topic with it. Instead, consider this my personal take on the language of the inhabitants of Okoto. These posts will proceed in a series of stages or “chapters”, each building on the proposals and conclusions of the last, and they will continue for as long as I feel like I have something to say. Also, as usual, I’ll be cross-posting everything on my other blog for the perusal of the tumblr community. Alright, enough chit-chat. Enjoy!
Let’s start with a brief discussion of the data that is available for the language of the Okotoans. First, there is the name of the island itself, Okoto. Secondly, there are the names of the two brothers Ekimu and Makuta. These three names/terms are presented as authentically Okotoan in all G2 media sources, even though Makuta clearly mirrors the Matoran term from G1. For our purposes here, let’s assume that the match-up between the Matoran Language and the Okotoan Language when it comes to Makuta’s name is an homage/coincidence.
Next, we have to consider the names of the G2 Toa/Masters: Tahu, Gali, Lewa, Kopaka, Onua, and Pohatu. These are also definitively Matoran names, but they could be included as authentic Okotoan names via the same criteria by which Makuta can be included (i.e. coincidence). However, there is one problem: we don’t yet know anything about the connection that these Toa have—if any—with the Toa Mata of the G1 universe. If the G2 universe is indeed somehow connected to the G1 universe (which remains a possibility given the hints about the Mask of Time), and, hence, the Masters are actually the same beings as the G1 Toa Mata, then this poses a problem for the inclusion of these names as native to the Okotoan Language, since they would still be Matoran in origin—simply transferred from one universe to another.
It has, of course, been noted that the Protectors clearly gave the Masters their names shortly after the Masters crashlanded, and this might be seen as an argument for the native-status of these names. Then again, it could also very easily be that these names have been passed down to the Protectors in connection with Ekimu’s Prophecy of Heroes (or some other prophecy); hence still non-native. Only time will tell, in this case.
The last thing to consider is the term Toa itself. To me, this word seems to fall more-or-less under the same criteria as Makuta’s name, but that’s mainly because the title of Toa seems to already have a uniquely Okotoan meaning of “Master” (note: seems to—not necessarily confirmed, but I think it’s a pretty solid hypthesis).
Okay, with that out of the way, here is the dataset that is available to us and from which we can begin to assemble a language:
Possibly native terms (unconfirmed):