TLoO: Chapter 7
The Language of Okoto
At this point, I think we’ve pretty much eked out all the information we reasonably can from the topic of the words toa/ta/okoto without having to rely on anything other than the contents of the dataset and some basic hypothesizing. With that in mind, we could stop...or we could move into realms of more-or-less pure speculation. I’ll take the latter choice in this post for the sake of creativity and completionism. In particular, we still haven’t defined the word oko in its entirety, but I think it’s still possible.
Recall that we are unsure whether or not the names of the Masters (Tahu, Gali, Onua, etc.) should count as authentic Okotoan names. Thus far, I’ve attempted to flesh out an Okotoan Language without relying on these names for data, since their status is still up in the air. However, if we were to admit the Toa-names to some limited extent, it might provide us with further options for deciphering the word oko. I’m thinking in particular of the sequence /ko/ in /oko/ and its parallel in the name Kopaka (/kopaka/), the Master of Ice. Assuming that the elemental prefixes of the Matoran Language are, to some extent, preserved in Okotoan, this would mean that ko could be translated as “ice”.
However, rather than simply copying Matoran wholesale, I’d like to put a slight twist on it: Instead of “ice”, why not think of ko as referring to a more general concept...something like “solid” or “solidity, solid-ness”, in the sense of ice being a solid form of matter (contrasting with liquid, gas, etc.)? This interpretation of ko seems a bit more reasonable if we’re trying to figure out how it would fit into a term like oko, which we’ve thus far assumed to mean something like “land”, “landmass” or “place”. A further benefit of this analysis is that it allows us to place ko alongside other “basic” or irreducible stems like to “greatness, largeness”. This leads naturally to a formal proposal:
Proposal 1: The element ko is a lexical component of the Okotoan Language and may be translated as “solidity, solid-ness”.
Of course, we can’t stop there! We’ve determined a plausible meaning for one part of the word oko, so that just leaves the remaining piece o- to be defined. Considering that we’ve thus far assumed that oko should refer to some kind of place or location (e.g. “land” or “home” in the previous posts), it might make sense to assign a similar meaning to o, which would imply a direct/concrete modifying relation between o (the primary element) and ko (the modifier), which is placed after the primary element. Here’s the proposal:
Proposal 2: The element o translates to “place, location”. In combination with ko “solidity, solid-ness”, this means that the complex o-ko translates to “place of solidity (with direct/concrete relation); solid place, foundation; land, home”.
- We made the decision to incorporate a small bit of data from the names of the Masters—the element ko from Kopaka—in order to derive a meaning for the as-yet-undefined element oko in Okoto. The stem ko is defined as “solidity, solid-ness” (referencing the status of “ice” as a solid, contrasting with liquids, gases, etc.). Furthermore, we have defined the remaining element o in o-ko as “place, location”, yielding a final meaning of “solid place, foundation; land, home”.
-a “general noun (thing, object, person)”
e “?making, ?creating”
eki “maker” (< *ekui)
ekimu “mask maker”
ki “agent” (< *kui)
ko “solidity, solid-ness; ?ice”
kuta “hoarder” (< *kuita)
m- “covering” (basic stem)
ma “covering, mask”
makuta “mask hoarder”
mu “mask” (< *mau)
o “place, location”
oko “land, place, home”
okoto “great land/place/home”
ta “hoard, group, collection” (< *toa)
to “largeness, greatness”
toa “master, hero” (< *toua)
tu “skill of greatness; mastery” (< *tou)
u “skill, ability”