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Meaningless Names - Before continuing...

Posted by Tolkien , in Bionicle, BZPower, Language and Etymology, linguistics, Matoran Language Apr 16 2013 · 208 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 grad-student and teaching associate at his university, currently working toward a Ph.D. in rhetoric/composition and linguistics.
 

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