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Meaningless Names - Before continuing...

Posted by Tolkien , in Bionicle, BZPower, Language and Etymology, linguistics, Matoran Language Apr 16 2013 · 129 views

After four relatively large entries crammed with information on the Matoran language, it strikes me that I still have enough of this stuff to go on for quite a long time. It’s exhausting (yet somehow rewarding) to put these things together, and I hope someone out there derives as much enjoyment from the topic of Matoran linguistics as I have.
 
With this in mind, I’m considering making this an actual regular thing, possibly weekly or twice-weekly, with smaller, more focused amounts of information per entry, rather than the info-dumps I’ve been doing. Already I know that I have enough content for at least another ten to twelve short(er) entries, possibly twice that, depending on how things are paced. It sounds like a lot. . .but there are a lot of words in Bionicle.
 
But beyond that, the reason for this interim entry is actually to ask something of you. Yes, you--the reader. I see you there, lurking. Answer me this: What do you think? Are you burnt out yet? I know I’m not, but we’ll see. Do you enjoy these entries? It’s not often that I ask for comments, mostly because I know some people may read, but don’t have much to respond beyond “I (don’t) like X”. That’s the nature of the topic, of course, but even so, I’d certainly like to know. Sometimes I imagine I’m talking to myself. It’s good practice, I suppose. Talking. . .
 
I’d also like to ask if you, the reader, have any “requests”. Are there any particular Matoran words/names/whatevers that you’d like to see translated? If so, feel free to leave a comment, and I’ll attempt to incorporate any requests into future entries.
 
Finally, to make sure this entry isn’t entirely self-serving, I’d like to highlight two (not so) recent topics that are also aimed at putting flesh on the bones of the Matoran language:
 
Conjecture on Matoran (language) morphology, by QuestionMark -- topic (sadly) dead as of Feb.27. (Received bonesiii’s “Key to Nongu” Award)
 
Dual Matrix's Ultimate Guide to Matoran, by Dual Matrix -- topic still living as of April 7.
 
I don’t frequent S&T much anymore, but if I did. . .I suppose I would've been more informed. As it is, I only discovered the existence of these topics last week. There are a lot of great and creative ideas here, so take a look! One distinction between the approach to the Matoran language exhibited in these topics and the approach I’ve taken here has to do with “canonicity”: as realistic visions of the Matoran language, these topics attempt to translate words within the fairly strict guidelines of the canon Bionicle storyline. In contrast, in this blog I have been very free in my translations, decomposing words into smaller and smaller units, affected by regular (but completely invented) phonological processes, and heavily paraphrasing “canon” translations in order to derive consistent meanings across words and morphemes that, on the surface, might seem drastically removed from each other (much as is the case in human language). For that reason, posting any of this as an official “theory” was, unfortunately, never really an option. But that’s okay. I applaud the efforts of those represented in the topics above and encourage you to peruse them for your own personal fulfillment (or amusement). It’s fun stuff. Terribly fun, you have to admit. . .And I think I’ll end it on that note. I look forward to your (possible) replies.
 
JRRT

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I can't claim to read all of everything you post, but I read a lot and it's pretty interesting.
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I have enjoyed your recent entries, and I hope I can make the time to read those that I haven't yet.  I have no grounding in linguistics however so I usually have nothing to add to the conversation, except that it saddens me that great work like this often goes noticed but not praised.  I think you have done a great job, and much of my Bionicle headcanon is based off of entries and posts like these.

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I can't claim to read all of everything you post, but I read a lot and it's pretty interesting.

 

Basically this. And I hardly ever comment, but I do read most of your blog entries and enjoy doing so--I just don't usually have much to say besides "ooh, this is cool." So yeah, I definitely enjoy the entries, but like you said, I don't really ever have anything to say. =P And yeah, I think having this as a regular thing would be really cool. 

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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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