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Meaningless Names - Pt. 1

Posted by Tolkien , in Matoran Language, Long Entries, linguistics, Language and Etymology, Bionicle Apr 09 2013 · 131 views

The streak continues, but this time with an examination of the meanings and etymologies of various other heretofore un-translated Bionicle names (i.e. not just Kanohi mask-names, although there are a few here and there). I started compiling this, and I came to the conclusion that there’s far too much here to digest in a single entry, so I’ve split it into multiple digestable entries.
 
For now, we’ll begin with those infamous sons of shadow, the Rahkshi:
 
Rahkshi, n.cmpd. “wild/untamable offspring/spawn” [variant forms rahkishi, rah’kshi, rah’kishi]
 
rahk, stm. “wild/untamable thing”
(i)shi, n. “offspring, spawn” [derived from isi “possibility; possible” by addition of the particle “thing, place”: isi-hī  > ishi. The meaning builds on the concept of “possible thing/outcome, descendant possibility”]
 
The element rahk began as an emergent compound rā-hī-ak. The components and should be recognizable as the basis for the independent modern term rahi “wild thing, beast”. The particle ak expresses an “intensive” meaning, hence rā-hī-ak “extremely-wild-thing; untamable-rahi”. This was the original term used by the early Matoran tribes in their first encounters with Rahkshi in the wild. It has since been gradually reduced -- rā-hī-ak > rah’ak, rahak > rah’k, rahk -- and now exists primarily as an affix-particle.
 
The element ishi “offspring, spawn”, which was already commonly used in reference to rahi-spawn (rahishi), was applied at a later point in history once the origins of the Rahkshi (literally the “sons” or “offspring” of individual Makuta) were known to Matoran. It has also undergone reduction as a part of the name: rahk-ishi > rahkshi. See above for a larger list of common variant forms.
 
Rahkshi names:
 
As the different types of Rahkshi were documented, various names were devised in reference to their characteristic powers, usually formed according to the pattern of stem “power” + -rahk “wild/untamable thing”. The element rahk, in its usage as an affix-particle, eventually took on “agentive” connotations, roughly analogous to English -er (Lerahk “poisonous-wild-thing; poison-er”, see below).
 
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Turahk, n.cmpd. “Rahkshi of Fear; terrifying-wild-thing, causer-of-fear” [variant form tūrahk, turah’k]
 
tūr, stm. “fear, terror”
rahk, stm. “wild/untamable thing”
 
The element tūr was formed as a combination of the elemental stem ta “fire” and the particle ūr(u) “un-, negative, opposite”. The stem ta usually carries connotations of “courage” and “bravery”, and, in combination with ūr(u), it takes on the general meaning of “fear, terror”, both “fearful, terrified” and “causing fear, terrifying”. In combination with rahk, it carries the latter definition: tūr-rahk “terrifying-wild-thing, causer-of-fear”, modern form turahk (also see variants above).
 
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Guurahk, n.cmpd. “Rahkshi of Disintegration; disintegrating-wild-thing, disintegrator” [variant forms gurahk, guurah’k]
 
gūr, stm. “disintegrating, unsettling; un-peaceful”
rahk, stm. “wild/untamable thing”
 
The element gūr was formed as a combination of the elemental stem ga “water” and the particle ūr(u) “un-, negative, opposite”. The stem ga usually carries connotations of “peace”, “calm”, and “settled-ness”, and, in combination with ūr(u), it takes on the general meaning of “un-settledness, falling apart, disintegrating”. In combination with rahk it yields the compound gūr-rahk “disintegrating-wild-thing, disintegrator”, modern form guurahk (also see variants above).
 
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Kurahk, n.cmpd. “Rahkshi of Anger; raging-wild-thing, raging-one” [variant forms kūrahk, kurah’k]
 
kūr, stm. “anger, rage”
rahk, stm. “wild/untamable thing”
 
The element kūr was formed as a combination of the elemental stem ko “ice” and the particle ūr(u) “un-, negative, opposite”. The stem ko usually carries connotations of “stillness”, “silence”, and “inner-calm”, and, in combination with ūr(u), it takes on the general meaning of “agitation”, “disturbance”, “anger/rage” . In combination with rahk it yields the compound kūr-rahk “raging-wild-thing, raging-one”, modern form kurahk (also see variants above).
 
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Lerahk, n.cmpd. “Rahkshi of Poison; poisonous-wild-thing, poisoner” [variant forms lūrahk, lērahk, lerah’k]
 
lēr, stm. “noxious, toxic, poisonous” [also lūr]
rahk, stm. “wild/untamable thing”
 
The element  lēr was formed as a combination of the elemental stem le “air” and the particle ūr(u) “un-, negative, opposite”. The stem le usually carries connotations of “liveliness”, “vigor”, and “vivacity”, and, in combination with ūr(u), it takes on the general meaning of “non-vigorous”, “dying-off”, “poisoned/poisonous” . In combination with rahk it yields the compound lēr-rahk “poisonous-wild-thing, poisoner”, modern form lerahk (also see variants above).
 
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Vorahk, n.cmpd. “Rahkshi of Hunger; devouring-wild-thing, devourer” [variant forms vūrahk, vōrahk, vorah’k]
 
vōr, stm. “hunger; energy-draining” [also vūr]
rahk, stm. “wild/untamable thing”
 
The element  vōr was formed as a combination of the elemental stem vo “lightning, electricity” and the particle ūr(u) “un-, negative, opposite”. The stem vo usually carries connotations of “power”, “energy”, and “sustenance”, and, in combination with ūr(u), it takes on the general meaning of “non-energetic”, “drained”, “hungering/consuming/devouring” . In combination with rahk it yields the compound vōr-rahk “devouring-wild-thing, devourer”, modern form vorahk (also see variants above).
 
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Panrahk, n.cmpd. “Rahkshi of Fragmentation; shattering-wild-thing, fragmenter/shatterer” [variant forms panurahk, pūrahk, paurahk, panrah’k]
 
pa-nūr, stm. “shattering, breaking, fragmentation”
rahk, stm. “wild/untamable thing”
 
The element  pa-nūr was formed as a combination of the elemental stems pa (from po) “stone” and nu (from onu) “earth” with the particle ūr(u) “un-, negative, opposite”. Both elemental stems carry connotations of “strength” and “solidness”, and, in combination with ūr(u), they take on the general meaning of “decaying”, “breaking-down”, “shattering/fragmenting” . In combination with rahk this yields the compound panūr-rahk “shattering-wild-thing, fragmenter/shatterer”, modern form (highly reduced) panrahk (also see variants above).
 
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To conclude, a couple of interesting mask-name etymologies (possibly related to the above discussion?):
 
Olmak, n.cmpd. “Mask of Dimensional Gates; allows the wearer to open portals into other dimensions” [variant forms olmatak, olomak, olomatak]
 
ol(o), stm. “door, gate, opening; available course/pathway”
ma(t), stm. “mastery, control”
-ak, p. “intensive particle”
 
The elements ol(o), ma(t), and the intensive particle -ak combine straightforwardly to yield the compound ol(o)-ma(t)-ak “powerful control of doors/gateways”, modern form olmak (see also variant forms above).
 
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Olisi, n.cmpd. “Mask of Possible Futures; allows the wearer to see (and cause others to see) possible future timelines” [variant form oloisi]
 
ol(o), stm. “door, gate, opening; available course/pathway”
isi, n./adj. “possibility; possible”
 
The elements ol(o) and isi combine straightforwardly to yield the compound ol(o)-isi “possible available course(s)/pathway(s)”, modern form olisi.

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Justin Bieber
Apr 09 2013 04:08 PM
You are amazing. This is brilliant, and really interesting! Can't wait for the next one!
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Chapter I

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"Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a blog-hole, and that means comfort."

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A Short Bio of the...Author?

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The author of this blog currently resides in the rather dry, bare, sandy climate of the southwest United States. He is a graduate student and teaching associate at his university, currently working toward a Ph.D. in Rhetoric, Composition, and Linguistics.

His primary interests include such -ologies as mythology, philology, etymology, syntax, and phonology, along with a healthy passion for historical linguistics binding all these bewildering fields together. Some less academic hobbies include reading classical literature and mythology, high and epic fantasy, science fiction, and the occasional Tolkien biography, as well as attempting (and mostly failing) to write fiction modeled after these genres.

In addition to these things, he also harbors the deep-set enjoyment of the Bionicle sets and storyline essential to any hapless LEGO geek who has made the decision to become a member of the BZPower community. Without it, he obviously wouldn't be here writing this, and you wouldn't be reading it. This fact is, in part, what inspired his lasting interest in the art of pixeling, a skill that he apparently isn't all that bad at, although you might never know it, seeing as his severe lack of motivation and excess of procrastination usually prevents him from producing anything much at all.
 

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= Some Writings =

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Unknowledge [Review] - (Epic) Finalist in Epics Contest #7: Murder Mysteries. Unknowledge centers around the mysterious death of Toa Moihu and ensuing investigation by Toa Ros, interwoven with the quest to uncover the reality behind the dark nature of the Dedh-See Scroll. Ultimately, the truth that Ros discovers and is forced to confront may be darker than anyone could have imagined.

Judgement [Review] - (Epic) Judgement opens with a death sentence pronounced upon Toa Jor, watch-Toa of Metru Nui. It then follows the events leading up to this shocking scene, with the arrival of Toa Jovan, bearing grave news concerning the fate of the universe itself, as well as a plan to stop it.

Windows Through the Void [Review] - (Epic) Windows is a serial inspired by the old online serials of Bioniclestory.com. Serial 1 follows Takanuva, Toa of Light, as he journeys across the void to a world of dark trees and night, only to find that he must accomplish another task before his original quest can be completed.

The Time - (SS) A semi-mythic account of the origin of Avan, the first Matoran, in the Time Before Time--the Time of the Great Beings.

Despair - (SS) 1st Place winner of the 2010 Library Summer Olympics (SS category). "Despair" is a prequel to the epic Unknowledge, beginning with the arrival of a mysterious Toa in the city of Moa, deep within the Waste. His motives are unknown, as the nature of the dark Kanohi he wears. But the subsequent arrival of Toa Ros soon sets things in motion, leading up to an epic confrontation between hope and despair.

Dust - (SS) The Dark Hunter Devastator returns to Karzahni, his native land. He must find the Matoran called the Builder and retrieve a stolen tablet, but along the way his encounters with the crazed, broken Matoran and the dreaded Karzahni himself provide him with a sliver of new perspective in this land of dust and living death.

A Storm is Coming - (SS) Entrant in the (now stalled) Lesovikk's Hiatus contest. It tells the tale of Toa Lesovikk's three-day battle with a Rock Lion in a strange land where it never rains and the encounter he has there with the castaway Toa Jovan. Can Lesovikk find the strength to finish his task, or will the memories of his past defeat him? A storm is about to break.

Remember [Archive] - (SS) The Mountains of the Matoran are a strange place, but even stranger are the discoveries to be made within them. Two Agori venture deep into the heart of the mountains, and soon their plight becomes a struggle for survival as they try to escape the strange corridors of this dark place. But at the end of their journey lies a revelation more shocking than they could ever have imagined.

The Coming of the Toa - (SS) 3rd place Judges' Choice winner of Short Stories Contest #8. A glimpse into an alternate history of Bionicle, where something has gone terribly wrong. Kua seeks to discover what it is that the Matoran have lost, the darkness in their past. But can even he resist the power of the darkness that lies beneath?

The End - (SS) Nga-Ro has waited for so long in the darkness and cold of the ruined city. He has forgotten much. But now...even he must find the strength to resist the darkness of death and remember his duty. For the end has come...

The Sight - (SS) 1st place winner in the 2012 Flash Fiction Marathon (Visions Category).

The Power - (SS) 1st place winner of the 2012 Library Summer Olympics: Artistic Gymnastics Reimagine (Bionicle category).

Once Whole - (SS)

Hue #1471 - (SS)
 
Looming - (SS)

 
Static [Review] - (Co-authored Epic, OTC) Gold medalist in the 2012 Library Summer Olympics: Epics Unlimited Prompt Relay. Co-authored with Grant-Sud Rises, Velox, and Legolover-361.

Ever Up - (SS, OTC)

Long Day - (SS, OTC)
 
Beyond the Ridge of Tears - (SS, OTC)
 
The Trumpet Sounds - (SS, Blog)



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