Jump to content

  • Log in with Facebook Log in with Twitter Log In with Google      Sign In   
  • Create Account

Welcome to BZPower!

Hi there, while we hope you enjoy browsing through the site, there's a lot more you can do if you register. Some perks of joining include:
  • Create your own topics, participate in existing discussions, and vote in polls
  • Show off your creations, stories, art, music, and movies
  • Enter contests to win free LEGO sets and other prizes
  • Participate in raffles to win LEGO prizes
  • Organize with other members to attend or send your MOCs to LEGO fan events all over the world
  • Much, much more!
Enjoy your visit!

In a hole in the ground there lived...


Final Chapter

Posted by Tolkien , in Writing??, Bionicle, BZPower May 14 2017 · 76 views

Chapter 11 of Mask Maker has been posted, and that's all folks! It's a pretty bittersweet ending...not just for the story, but also for myself, since this is actually the largest piece of Bionicle fanfiction I've completed, and it'll likely be the last (for a good long while at least).

In a sense, this story is an attempt at bringing closure to the somewhat open-ended state in which G1 has remained since 2010, as well as a way of transitioning from G1 into G2 and beyond. That's what it is for me, at least. Thanks to everyone who has read it, and thanks to those who took the time to respond. =)



Mask Maker

Posted by Tolkien , in BZPower, Bionicle, Writing?? May 05 2017 · 380 views

As a final act in 2016, I've posted an epic entitled Mask Maker. It's a final take on the Bionicle G1 storyline that has been taking shape for a few years now. Here's the main topic and the review topic if you're interested in reading and/or commenting. It'll also be on my tumblr blog. See ya '16.


CH 1 Labor
CH 2 Deadline
CH 3 Last
CH 4 Embrace
CH 5 All Wrong
CH 6 Ages
CH 7 Invert
CH 8 No
CH 9 Door

CH 10 Goodbye
CH 11 Mask Maker (Final)


Survivors of the Red Star

Posted by Tolkien , in Bionicle, Writing?? Dec 22 2016 · 189 views

A while back (almost a year, actually) I posted a series of Bionicle short-fiction snippets over on this blog. Each post was an entry into a larger story, which was intended as an expansion of the Bionicle G1 storyline related to the nature of the Red Star (specifically, what if the Red Star fell out of orbit? Who might survive, and what would they do?)

I got through five posts (and a sixth was in the works) before burning out, as happens, and they never generated much interest, so I let it rest. Lately though, I’ve been feeling nostalgic, so I thought I’d give it another plug.
Here are links to each post, in order:

1. When the Red World fell at last, there were few survivors…
2. We continued our journey away from the great wreck the next day.
3. How Yi Resolved to Reach the Sky
4. Muru continued with his tale:
5. How Yi Struggled Against the Red Below and the Dark Above



Mask of Light - Matoran Language Script Translation

Posted by Tolkien , in Language and Etymology, Matoran Language, Bionicle, linguistics Jun 01 2015 · 848 views


Another year, another birthday, and today’s mine. Seems like a good occasion for gift-giving, so here’s one for you all.

Several months ago, I posted a link on tumblr to an unfinished Matoran Language translation of the script of Bionicle: Mask of Light. At the time, it was only about 25% complete. Well, some time (and procrastination) has passed since then...and now it’s 100% complete.

Link to the document

There’s the link to the Google doc, with comments enabled. And just to give you a taste of what the document contains, I'll conclude with a few short snippets. Enjoy!



ENG: Toa Tahu, Takua? He didn’t…? You’re alive! Kohli-head! You could’ve been lava bones!

MAT: Toa Tahu, Takua? Ai-rhu...? Ou ikau-pa! Kohlii-meki! Ou tanuzaki-nuse!


ENG: Could’ve been, but I’m not.

MAT: O hi-nuse, fa o-rhu.



ENG: Always a pleasure Gali. You two still so ill-at-ease? Put your petty differences aside, rejoice!

MAT: Ta o hiki-po! Avamu rukhapo, Gali. Ou-anga ihua uluraiwa-po? Kofo-khuhi’u ihiki kya, ladeya!


ENG: Ha, I think my brother is afraid of having his fire extinguished.

MAT: Ha, o ge seyaga ge ro'o ge turyaga ge tahai gamayago.


ENG: Hahaha! Sister, against me you’d be nothing but steam. Hot air as they say.

MAT: Hahaha! Ro'o, o'i ou igalorhu-se. Lo-taui, ke ai rokha.



ENG: The earth shudders my brother. The seventh Toa has begun its approach. Again the prophecies of the Matoran oppose my will. Must I release those who should never see the light of day? I must preserve your slumber. Their Unity will be poisoned. Their Duty will be broken. Their Destiny I must shatter. Go my sons, use the shadows and keep my brother asleep.

MAT: Onu voya, ro’o. Toa-Nanga hiki'i voyata. Anga imatoran-vakamaja atu'o rakha. O akai ki rhui avahi akuyasu ikuakaryasuka? O voko'u mayasu. Kaita'ai lerayako. Maita'ai guurayako. O vaita'ai panrayasu. Shi'o voya. Krahi maya. Ivoko'a ro'o maya.



ENG: Walk? Ha, not-never! If you ride with me, there be no foot-walking, just air-flying. Ever wind-fly a Gukko-bird?

MAT: Odai? Eke, ru-ru! Oi usai-sa, odi-dai-koru, nga le-mirai. Vai Goko leki-mirai?


ENG: I’ve been a second, but I’ve never flown one myself. (MNOG ref ftw)

MAT: O khanga-nu, fa o nga mirukhanu-rhui.


ENG: Then today is for quick-learning. Stay sharp and follow well.

MAT: Le iki-aku. Kee no yai-yai.


TLoO: Chapter 10 - An Okotoan Grammar

Posted by Tolkien , in Okotoan Language, linguistics, Bionicle, Matoran Language, Language and Etymology Mar 07 2015 · 545 views

The Language of Okoto

Chapter 10: An Okotoan Grammar


We have reached the end, so let’s go out with a bang, shall we? All of the previous posts have been solely focused on breaking down the small dataset available to us and fleshing out the form and meaning of various words/lexical items, which is basically just vocabulary-building. But if we want Okotoan to be usable in any form, we’ve gotta mix in a bit of grammar at some point, right? Right. The time has come.

Table of Contents:

1. Syntax

2. Verbs

3. Nouns

4. Other

5. Glossary

1. Syntax

There are two primary rules of syntactic composition (and semantic interpretation) that apply very broadly in Okotoan, as follows:

Rule 1. A modifying element placed before the element it modifies receives an indirect/abstract/non-physical interpretation,

Rule 2. A modifying element placed after the element it modifies receives a direct/concrete/physical interpretation.

A couple of specific applications of this rule to note:

Subjects are positioned before the verb. This expresses the concept that subjects are in an indirect/abstract relation to the action of the verb, since subjects can express various concepts, including “causer”, “initiator”, or just “thing about which the verb expresses an action/property” (depending on the verb).

Objects are positioned after the verb. This expresses the concept that objects are in a dirrect/concrete relation to the action of the verb, indicating the entity which is directly affected by that action.

Taken together, this means that the primary word order of Okotoan is Subject – Verb – Object (SVO), very much like English (and a large number of other human languages).

2. Verbs

Verbs are usually formed directly from basic stems (e.g. k- “to do, act”, e- “to originate, begin, exist”).

A subclass of transitive verbs (verbs that require an object of some kind) is formed by the application of a marker -k (derived from k- “to do, act”; blatantly copied from Matoran -kha, which derives from kya “to do, act”). This can lead to related pairs of verbs such as e- “to originate, begin, exist” alongside ek- “to make smthg.; to cause to exist”.

2.1 Subject-marking

Subjects of verbs are marked by suffixes added directly to the verbal stem, indicating the person/number of the subject. Each suffix has two forms, depending on whether the verb stem ends in a consonant or vowel:

1 -e (after consonants) OR -we (after vowels) = “I”
2 -i OR -wi = “you”
3 -a OR -wa = “she/he/it”

Plural: Add the plural marker -to after the suffixes for 1st/2nd/3rd person.

2.1.1 Examples

1. ke I act.” (= k- “to do, act” + -e “1st person”)
2. ketoWe act.” (= k- + -e + -to “plural”)
3. ki You act.” (= k- + -i “2nd person”)
4. kito You all act.”
5. kaShe/he/it acts.” (= k- + -a “3rd person”)
6. katoThey act.”
7. oweI exist.” (= o- “to exist, remain” + -we “1st person”)
8. owiYou exist.” (= o- + -wi “2nd person”)
9. owaShe/he/it exists.” (= o- + -wa “3rd person”)
10. Ekimu owa. “Ekimu exists.”

- The 1st person marker comes from the stem e “making, originating” (the stem o “place, location, point” was also considered, but this would make the Okotoan 1st person marker identical to Matoran!). The 2nd person marker comes from the noun marker -i, which indicates animate individuals, a common implication of the 2nd person in general (you generally address speech to animate, rather than inanimate, things). The 3rd person marker comes from the noun marker -a, which indicates general nouns--things, objects, and people.
- The suffix-variants with -w- that are used after vowels derive from the addition of the stem u “skill, ability”, which covers the semantic domain of “instrument”, as well as “perspective”. This sound was eventually lost after consonants.

2.2 Tense

Tense is marked on verbs by prefixes added directly to the verbal stem, indicating present, past, and future tense. Each prefix has two forms, depending on whether the verbal stem begins in a consonant or vowel:

Present: o- (before consonants), ok- (before vowels)
Past: e- OR ek-
Future: u- OR uk-, w-

4.2.1 Examples

1. Ekimu o-ka. “Ekimu acts.”
2. Ekimu e-ka. “Ekimu acted.”
3. Ekimu u-ka. “Ekimu will act.”
4. Mu ok-owa. “The mask exists.”
5. Mu ek-owa. “The mask existed
6. Mu uk-owa. OR Mu w-owa. “The mask will exist.”

- The present-marker comes from the stem o “place, location, point”, specifying “(current) temporal location”. The past-marker comes from the stem e “making, originating”, specifying “temporal origination”. The future-marker comes from the stem u “skill, ability”, via metaphorical extension from “ability” to “possibility”, and eventually to “temporal possibility; future”.
- The prefix-variants with -k- that are used before vowels derive from the addition of the stem k- “action”, under the assumption that, at an older stage in the language, tense was marked by a second “placeholder” verb (k-) which then fused with the primary verb stem.
- Interesting: We can construct an alternate etymology for the name Okoto using a verbal template instead of a nounal one. The complex ok-o-we-to would translate to “we exist/remain” (ok- “present tense”, -o- “to exist, remain”, -we- “first person”, -to “plural”), and according to basic assumptions about sound change, it would undergo eventual phonological reduction along the following lines: okoweto > okoueto > okouto > okoto.
- Also interesting: An alternate etymology for the name of Ekimu presents itself. The sentence eki mu would translate to “you acted (with respect to) masks”, with eki deriving from e- “past tense” + k- “to do, act” + -i “2nd person”, plus an object mu “mask(s)”.

3. Nouns

Nouns can be formed directly from basic stems (e.g. u “skill, ability”) as well as by the addition of derivative suffixes such as -a “general noun” and -i “animate noun”.

Nouns can be marked for plural number via the suffix -to, which is attached directly to the noun-stem.

Nouns can also be marked for possession by the addition of a set of independent markers for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd person possessors, which are placed before the noun which is possessed, expressing that the noun bears a concrete relation to the possessor.

1 we “mine” (pl. weto “ours”)
2 wi “yours” (pl. wito “yours”)
3 wa “hers/his/its” (pl. wato “theirs”)

If the possessor is another noun (rather than just a pronoun), it is placed before wa, followed by the possessed noun: [possessor] + wa + [possessed].

Lastly, nouns can be marked to express various spatio-temporal properties (location, movement, instrumentality, etc.). These markers can be expressed as affixes (suffixes/prefixes) or as independent words (prepositions/postpositions), as desired. Since, in most cases, they express direct/concrete/physical relationships, it is suggested that these markers be placed after the nouns they modify (not an absolute rule!).

o “in, at, on (position)”
e “from, out of, before (origin, startpoint)”
u “by, with (instrument)”
mo “to, toward (endpoint)” (< m+o, lit. “completion+location”)
omo “after, following; outside” (< o+mo, lit. “location+endpoint”)
wo “through, via, across” (< u+o, lit. “instrument+location”)
owo “during (process); like, as” (< o+wo, lit. “location+process”)

3.1 Examples:

1. eki-to “maker-s
2. kuta-to “hoarder-s
3. oko-to “land-s
4. we okomy land”
5. wi tayour group/hoard”
6. wato mutheir mask”
7. Ekimu wa muEkimu’s mask”
8. oko-o in/at/on (the) land”
9. ta-e from/out of (the) group/hoard/collection”
10. tu-u by/with mastery” OR u-tu, because tu ends in a vowel
11. toa-motoward (the) master/hero” OR mo-toa
12. oko-omo outside (the) land”
13. oko-wothrough/via/across (the) land”
14. e-owoduring (the) making”
15. wato oko-to mo “toward our land-s”

- Interesting: Example 3 above offers an interesting alternative etymology for the word Okoto; one that is appropriate, considering that Okoto is divided into multiple regions or “lands”.

4. Other

4.1 Expressing Negation

Negation (i.e. “not”) is normally marked on verbs by the prefix um-, which is added before the prefixes marking tense. (This prefix is derived from a combination of the stems u “possibility” and m- “covering; completion”, yielding a sense of “completion” or “limitation” of possibility, i.e. “no possibility, negation”).

Alternately, negation can be marked by addition of the independent morpheme uma “nothing, never” (< um-a “negation+thing”) placed before the verb.

4.1.1 Examples

1. Umeke “I did not act.”
2. Uma eke “I did not act. / I never acted.”
3. Makuta umokewa “Makuta does not originate/begin.”
4. Makuta uma okewa “Makuta does not originate/begin. / Makuta never originates/begins.”

4.2 Questions

Two types of questions (“interrogatives”) can be formed: Yes/No-Questions (“Did you get the mask?”) and WH-Questions (“What did you get?” “Where did you get it?” “Who are you?”, etc.).

- Yes/No-Questions are formed simply by the addition of rising intonation at the end of a sentence (similar to English, Spanish, and numerous other human languages).

- WH-Questions are also formed via rising intonation, but coupled with a special set of interrogative (pro)nouns derived from the base-form at- (a combination of the stems a “thing, object, person” and t- “non-specificity”, hence “non-specific thing/object/person”).

ata “who/what”
atomo “where”
atowo “when”
atowe “why”
atu “how”

The element ata should be placed before or after the verb based on whether or not it corresponds to the subject or object. All of the other elements are adverbial in nature and can be placed basically anywhere in the sentence.

4.2.1 Examples

1. Ekimu eka? “Did Ekimu act?” (Yes/No-Q)
2. Ukeki mu? “Will you make the mask?” (Yes/No-Q. Verb = ek- “to make smthg.”)
3. Ata ekeka mu?Who/what made the mask?” (WH-Q)
4. Ekimu ekeka ata?What did Ekimu make?” (WH-Q)
5. Atomo Ekimu ekeka mu?Where did Ekimu make the mask?” (WH-Q)
6. Ekimu ekeka mu atowo?When did Ekimu make the mask?” (WH-Q)
7. Ekimu atu ekeka mu?How did Ekimu make the mask?” (WH-Q)

4.3 Commands

An imperative (command) is constructed by using the bare form of the stem, without any tense-marking, in combination with the 2nd person suffix -i. Negative imperatives are formed by adding either the negative prefix um- to the stem or by placing the independent negative element uma “nothing, never” before the verb.

4.3.1 Examples

1. Eki mu! “Make the mask!”
2. Ki! “Do it!”
3. Uma ki! “Don’t do it!”
4. Ewi! “Begin/originate!”
5. Umewi! “Don’t begin/originate!”
6. Owi! “Exist! / Be!”

4.4 Complex clauses

4.4.1 Coordinating Conjunctions

These independent morphemes are used to join together elements of the same type (e.g. nouns with nouns, verbs with verbs, clauses with clauses) in a symmetrical fashion, such that both elements are independent (“coordinated”).

omo “and, plus” (< o+mo, lit. “location+endpoint”)
me “but, except” (< m+e, “separation, exception”, lit. “completion+origin”)
ome “or” (< o+me, lit. “location+separation/exception”)
we “for, because” (< u+e, lit. “instrument+origin”)

4.4.2 Subordinating Conjunctions

These two morphemes are used to join together elements (usually clauses) in an asymmetrical fashion, such that one element is subordinate or dependent upon the other element. Respectively, they are used to turn a full clause into the object of a verb or into a modifier of a noun (a relative clause).

mo “that” = Complementizer. This morpheme attaches to verbs, indicating that a following clause is the object (or “complement”) of said verb.

ata “that” = Relativizer. This morpheme attaches to nouns, indicating that a following clause is a modifier of the noun.

4.4.3 Examples

1. Makuta omo Ekimu okowato ekimuto. “Makuta and Ekimu are Mask Makers.”
2. Ekimu okeka, me Makuta otaka. “Ekimu makes, but Makuta hoards.”
3. Okeki, ome otaki? “Do you make, or do you hoard?”
4. Makuta ekoka ekimu, we ekeka muto. “Makuta was a Mask Maker, for he made masks.”
5. Okike-mo Ekimu weka mu. “I want Ekimu to make the mask” (lit. “I want that Ekimu will make the mask.”)
6. Mu-ata Ekimu ekeka... “The mask that Ekimu made...”
7. Ekimu okika-mo Makuta uma weka mu. “Ekimu wants Makuta to not make the mask.” (lit. “Ekimu wants that Makuta will not make the mask.”)

5. Glossary:

Basic Stems:

Note: The meanings of these stems are slightly expanded from those outlined in Chapter 9, and a few additional stems have been added.

a |stm.| “thing, object, person”
e |stm.| “making, originating; origination; past” (< *i-)
i |stm.| “animacy, intentionality”
iu |stm.| “sensation, feeling, sight, knowledge” (< *i-u)
k- |stm.| “acting, doing; action”
ko |stm.| “solidity, solid-ness; ?ice”
m- |stm.| “covering; completion; past”
o |stm.| “location, place, point; specificity; existing, remaining; present”
t- |stm.| “plurality, mass; non-specificity”
u |stm.| “skill, ability; instrument, perspective; possibility, future” (< *p-)


-a |aff.| “general noun (thing, object, person)”
-i |aff.| “animate noun”
-k |aff.| “transitive verb (verb taking an object)”
-o |aff.| “general adjective (property, attribute)”


ata |n.| “thing, object”
ati |n.| “person, individual”
ati-ota |n.| “community, society”
atu |n.| “crafted object, product; (piece of) art”
atuki |n.| “crafter, producer” (< *atukui)
ea |n.| “beginning, start, origin” (< *eo-a)
eki |n.| “maker” (< *ekui)
eki-atu |n.| “crafter, artisan”
ekimu |n.| “mask maker” (< *eki-mau)
ga |n.| “liquid, non-solidity; variety, variability, change; activity, movement; water” (< *k-a)
gali |n.| “(ocean) tide, current; cyclicity, reactivity; humor, comedy; lit. ‘generation of variability/change’” (< *ga-li, see le |n.|)
ianu |n.| “darkness; blindness; lit. ‘restriction of sensation’” (< *iua-nu)
iawo |n.| “light; sight, vision; lit. ‘endurance/unrestrictedness of sensation’” (< *iua-po)
i(w)a “sensation, feeling; discovery, knowledge, understanding” (< *iua)
ka |n.| “(an) act, deed”
ki |n.| “agent, causer, actor” (< *kui)
ko |n.| “solidity, solid (substance), rigidity; structure, arrangement; ice” (< *k-o)
kopaka “snow-drift, blizzard; slickness, slipperiness; lit. ‘wandering/drifting of ice’” (< ko-paka)
ku |n.| “action”
ku-ata |n.| “tool, weapon; appendage (arm, leg, hand), manipulator; lit. ‘thing/object of action’”
kuta |n.| “hoarder” (< *kuita)
la |n.| “diffusor, generator; teacher, elder; seed; lit. ‘thing of dispersal/growth/generation’” (< *le-a)
le |n.| “diffusion, dispersal, circulation; generation, growth; jungle, plant-life; air, wind; lit. ‘multiplicity of origins’” (< *te < *t-i)
leo |n.| “(a) generation, stage, step, link; lit. ‘point of dispersal/growth/generation’” (< *lea-o)
lewa |n.| “chaos; lit. ‘freedom of generation/growth’” (< *le-pa)
ma |n.| “covering, mask”
makuta |n.| “mask hoarder” (< *mau-kuta)
moka |n.| “protection, safety”
moko |n.| “house, building, roofed dwelling-place; lit. ‘solid/stable covered-location’” (< m-oko)
mu |n.| “mask” (< *mau)
nu |n.| “restriction, limitation, boundedness; earth, ground; rest, sleep, inactivity; ability/perspective related to covering” (< *m-p)
o |n.| “place, location, point”
oga |n.| “body of water; lake, pond”
ogato |n.| “ocean, sea”
oki |n.| “inhabitant, dweller” (< *okoi)
oko |n.| “land, place, home, region”
okoa |n.| “city, town” (< *okoua)
okoto |n.| “great land/place/home” (< oko-to)
oku |n.| “constructed landmark, monument, temple” (< *okou)
ola |n.| “tree, plant” (< *ole-a)
ole |n.| “forested area; group of trees/plants”
oleto |n.| “jungle, forest”
oma |n.| “end, finish, completion” (< *o-uma)
oni |n.| “miner, delver, cave-dweller; hermit, meditator” (< *onu-i)
onu |n.| “underground, below-ground; refuge, resting place”
onua |n.| “underworld, the deep; silence, rest, meditation” (< *onui-a)
onuto |n.| “cave-system, subterranean world”
opo |n.| “above-ground, surface”
opoto |n.| “plain(s), overworld”
ota |n.| “network, system, arrangement, organization; team; lit. ‘group/collection of points’” (< *otoa)
otaga |n.| “volcano”
otagato |n.| “volcanic region”
otaki |n.| “organizer, networker; lit. ‘agent of network/systems’”
pa |n.| “possibility, potential; freedom, autonomy” (< *p-a)
paka |n.| “wandering, drifting; journey” (< *paki-a)
paki |n.| “wanderer, rogue; lit. ‘agent of possibility/autonomy’”
po |n.| “endurance, fortitude, strength; stone, rock; lit. ‘existing/remaining related to ability/perspective’” (< *p-o)
ta |n.| “hoard, group, collection” (< *toa)
ta |n.| “plurality; expansion, proliferation, consumption; fire, burning; lit. ‘multiplicity of things/objects’” (< *t-a)
taga |n.| “magma; lit. ‘liquid fire’”
to |n.| “largeness, greatness”
toa |n.| “master, hero” (< *toua)
toa-ota |n.| “Toa Team; team of heroes/masters” (< ota-toa)
tu |n.| “mastery; lit. ‘skill of greatness’” (< *tou)
tu |n.| “versatility, adaptability, application, usefulness” (< *t-u)
tua |n.| “tool, device, instrument, implement; lit. ‘versatile/useful object’” (< *tuoa )
tula |n.| “innovator, leader; lit. ‘teacher/elder of adaptability/versatility’ (< *tulea)
tulaga |n.| “protector, preserver, caretaker; lit. ‘leader related to/against change/variability’”
u |n.| “skill, ability; possibility”
uma |n.| “nothing, absence”
uwa |n.| “time” (< *upa)


Note: Because all verbs require the addition of prefixes and suffixes indicating tense and person/number, I have used the notation “-stem-” to distinguish verbs from other entries.

-e- |v.| “to originate, begin, exist; to be (stative)”
-ek- |v.| “to make/create smthg.”
-ewo- |v.| “to go; lit. ‘to move away’” (see -wo-)
-ga- |v.| “to vary, change; to flow”
-i- |v.| “to intend, decide”
-ik- |v.| “to cause, initiate”
-iuk- |v.| to find, discover; to seek out; lit. ‘to know intentionally (abstract)’” (see -uk-)
-k- |v.| “to do, act”
-ki- |v.| “to want, wish, desire”
-ku- |v.| “to change/become different, alternate, vary”
-kuk- |v.| “to affect, influence, apply; to change smthg., manipulate”
-le- |v.| “to disperse, spread, circulate; to generate, manifest”
-lek- |v.| “to engender, spawn”
-li- |v.| “to speak, say; to transmit, convey information” (see -le-)
-m- |v.| “to complete, finish, establish”
-m(i)k- |v.| “to stop smthg.; to end, cut off”
-mowo- |v.| “to come; lit. ‘to move toward’” (see -wo-)
-nu- |v.| “to restrict, limit; to rest, sleep”
-o- |v.| “to be in/at location; to exist; to be (stative)”
-ok- |v.| “to put/place smthg. (location); to locate, specify”
-om- |v.| “to arrive; to end, finish, complete”
-om(i)k- |v.| “to bring smthg.; lit. ‘to make arrive (with)’; to accomplish, achieve”
-t- |v.| “to grow, increase, become larger”
-tak- |v.| “to collect, group, amass, hoard”
-uk- |v.| “to know, think; lit. ‘make possibility/perspective’”
-uki- |v.| “to see, observe; lit. ‘to know intentionally (concrete)’” (see -uk-)
-wo- |v.| “to move”


eo |adj.| “first, initial” (< *eo-o, see ea |n.|)
galo |adj.| “reactive; cyclic; humorous, comedic”
go |adj.| “variable, changeable; flowing, watery” (< *gao, see ga |n.|)
ko |adj.| “active, eventful” (< *k-o)
ko(o) |adj.| “solid, stable, firm, concrete; frozen, icy” (< *ko-o)
kopako |adj.| “slippery”
lewo |adj.| “chaotic”
lo |adj.| “dispersed; growing” (< *le-o)
mo |adj.| “covered, separated; completed, finished; distant”
no |adj.| “restful, sleepy”
omo |adj.| “last, final” (< *oum-o, see oma |n.|)
pako |adj.| “lost, direction-less”
po |adj.| “above, over; unrestricted, free; resistant, strong”
to |adj.| “great, large; plural, many”
towo |adj.| “masterful, heroic; brave, courageous” (< *touo)
wo |adj.| “skillful, competent, capable”


TLoO: Chapter 9

Posted by Tolkien , in Okotoan Language, linguistics, Bionicle, Language and Etymology Mar 04 2015 · 400 views

The Language of Okoto

Chapter 9


At this stage, we have reached what I think is, for all intents and purposes, “ground zero” for the language of Okoto. We have picked apart, decomposed, rendered down, and theoretically dismantled almost the entirety of the dataset established in Chapter 1 (to the near-exclusion of the names of the Masters, which continue to have an uncertain status). What more is there to do? Quite a bit, it turns out. This post will focus on tying up some loose ends and looking forward to the next chapter (Chapter 10), which will conclude this series of posts by outlining a pretty extensive grammar for the Okotoan Language.

For now, though, here’s what I’d like to do: In the interests of completionism, I’d like to reduce all of the lexical elements that we have so far down to their most basic forms and then define those forms as “stems” from which new words are/can be created. The meanings of these stems will be appropriately abstract, and it will be possible to define them as any word-category (nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc.) depending on what they are combined with. This system will serve us well, I think, in the interests of future vocabulary-expansion, as well as the construction of a grammar.

With this goal in mind, we have, luckily, already done most of this work. Elements in the glossary like k- “acting, doing”, e “making, creating” and m- “covering” already provide examples of what I have in mind, but there are a few entries that could be further redefined as stems (the noun-markers -a and -i, for example, might be raised to the status of basic stems indicating “thing, object, person” and “animacy, intentionality”), and there is at least one entry to “largeness, greatness” that can be further broken down. We’ll focus on the latter entry first, and then return to the former, concluding with a glossary of basic stems:

Proposal 1: The element to can be dissolved into two elements: t- and -o. Let t- be a stem-element indicating the general concept of “plurality”, while o translates as “place, location”. Furthermore, let the semantic domain covered by o extend from “place, location” to the concept of “point, specific(ity)”, yielding, in combination with t-, t+o “plurality of points/locations; largeness/greatness”.

With that done, we have exhausted the repertoire of undissolved lexical elements, and all that’s left is to redefine the bulk of the entries that we have derived as basic stems, with appropriately abstract/expanded meanings. These “extended” meanings are somewhat arbitrary, although I hope the connection with the originally-postulated meaning remains clear (e.g. o “location, place” > “point, specificity” > “existing, remaining”; m- “covering” > “completion”, u “skill, ability” > “instrument(ality)”, etc.). I think the following list of stems provides a sufficiently rich pool for future vocabulary construction:

Proposal 2: The following entries constitute basic stems from which the majority of words in the Okotoan Language are derived:

a |stm.| “thing, object, person”
e |stm.| “making, originating; origination”
i |stm.| “animacy, intentionality”
k- |stm.| “acting, doing; action”
ko |stm.| “solidity, solid-ness; ?ice”
m- |stm.| “covering; completion”
o |stm.| “location, place, point; specificity; existing, remaining”
t- |stm.| “plurality, mass; non-specificity”
u |stm.| “skill, ability; instrument(ality)”

As mentioned, the next chapter will be the final chapter in this series. Stay tuned!


TLoO: Chapter 8

Posted by Tolkien , in Okotoan Language, linguistics, Bionicle, Language and Etymology Mar 03 2015 · 432 views

The Language of Okoto

Chapter 8


For this post, let’s return to a part of the dataset that we haven’t discussed for a while: the reconstructed element *kui “agent”. Elsewhere, we’ve been successful in breaking down the words toa, ta, okoto by delving into their reconstructed history and making some comparative observations. Let’s see what we can do with *kui, shall we?

First, note that the element *kui has been translated only as “agent” thus far, and that this is actually a somewhat semantically complex concept. In order to get at the basic components of the word, we’ll need identify the semantic components of what it means to be an agent, and we can do that via paraphrase, as follows:

Assumption: The concept of “agent” can be paraphrased as “an individual who is able to act intentionally”, which can be broken down into at least three parts: [intentional individual], [ability], and [action].

With that in mind, let’s have an observation:

Observation: The element *kui contains the sequence u, which has been elsewhere assigned an independent meaning of “skill, ability”.

And now, a pretty straightforward proposal:

Proposal 1: The element *kui can be decomposed into u “skill, ability” and the remaining elements k- and -i.

With this proposal, we have assigned the [ability] part of the meaning of “agent” to u, leaving two units that have yet to be specified. Luckily, we also have two remaining word-units: k- and -i. At this point I will note that -i would fit nicely next to the general noun marker -a as a suffix capable of deriving nouns, but the question is, what kind of nouns? The following two proposals will flesh things out:

Proposal 2: Let k- be a stem-element representing the general concept of “acting, doing” (similar to how e represents the general concept of “making”). Together with u “ability, skill”, these could form an independent complex ku “action”.

Proposal 3: Let -i be a suffix which derives specifically animate (or “intentional”) nouns, contrasting with the general noun suffix -a, which does not specify animacy. In combination with ku “action”, this would yield a complex *ku-i “an intentional individual defined by action”, in other words, “an agent”.

So the upshot of these proposals is that we have assigned the [action] component of the meaning of “agent” to the stem k- and the [intentional individual] component to the suffix -i.


- Applying a variety of assumptions accumulated in previous posts, we have succesfully decomposed the reconstructed term *kui “agent” into three separate elements, corresponding to three semantic components of the meaning of “agency” ([action], [ability], and [intentional individual]): the stem k- “acting, doing”, u “skill, ability”, and a noun-marker -i “animate noun”.

Current Glossary:

-a “general noun (thing, object, person)”
e “?making, ?creating”
eki “maker” (< *ekui)
ekimu “mask maker”
-i “animate noun”
k- “acting, doing” (basic stem)
ki “agent” (< *kui)
ko “solidity, solid-ness; ?ice”
ku “action”
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”


TLoO: Chapter 7

Posted by Tolkien , in Okotoan Language, linguistics, Bionicle, Matoran Language, Language and Etymology Feb 22 2015 · 473 views

The Language of Okoto

Chapter 7


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”.

Current Glossary:

-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”


TLoO: Chapter 6

Posted by Tolkien , in Okotoan Language, linguistics, Bionicle, Matoran Language, Language and Etymology Feb 19 2015 · 393 views

The Language of Okoto

Chapter 6


In the previous post, we managed to break down the reconstructed term *toua into a few constituent parts and assign meanings to those parts. The element u translated to “skill, ability” and the element -a “general noun marker (person, object, thing)”, but the element to wasn’t fleshed out beyond the idea that it signified something like “greatness” and was somehow connected to the previously established word ta “?hoarding, ?grouping”. This post, we’ll try to get a bit more specific as to the meaning of this elusive element to in the contexts in which it arises. Let’s start with the following observation, which repeats what we already know:

Observation: The sequence /t/ plus /a/ or /o/ occurs in *toua “master, hero”, ta “group, hoard, collection”, and the word okoto.

Ideally, all of these surface forms could be related to a common root with a common meaning, thereby providing us with yet another lexical building block for our Okotoan glossary. With that goal in mind, we can use the regular sound change patterns we’ve already established to make a few deductions about what the “base form” of this /t+vowel/ sequence is. For example, the sequence /to/ shows up in both /toua/ and /okoto/, i.e. in the middle of a word and at the end of a word. If we decided to trace /to/ back to an older vowel-sequence like we did for /au/, /ui/, etc., we’d expect it to exhibit variation in these two positions. Instead, it’s identical (and in fact forms a part of a different vowel sequence /ou/ in /toua/). Now consider the sequence /ta/: it shows up only at the end of a word (cf. kuta); hence, if it traced back to an older vowel sequence, the sequence would have to be of the form /vowel+a/, since the other sound change rules all preserve the second vowel in word-final position. So it seems likely that /to/ in /toua/ and /okoto/ is the “base form”, while /ta/ is a form derived from an older stage /t+vowel+a/. Using these comparative deductions, we can arrive at the following proposals:

Proposal 1: The element to in *toua “master, hero” and okoto translates to “largeness, greatness” (parallel to Matoran nui “large, great”).

Proposal 2: The term ta “?hoarding, ?grouping” can be traced back to an older form *toa, consisting of the element to “greatness, largeness” combined with the element -a “general noun (person, object, thing)”, and can therefore be translated literally as “largeness of things (direct/concrete relation)”, or, more generally, as a noun signifying “hoard, group, collection”.

Phonological Rule 4:
Subpart 4a: /oa/ becomes /a/ word-finally. Example: /toa/ > /ta/.
Subpart 4b: /oa/ becomes /o/ elsewhere. No example available.

With that, we have managed to tie up the etymologies of both toa “master, hero” (< *toua, lit. “person of mastery [= ‘skill of greatness’]”) and ta “group, hoard, collection” (< *toa, lit. “largeness of things”) in a way that takes maximal advantage of their shared elements (e.g. to “largeness, greatness” and -a “general noun”) and follows the exact same phonological rules as every other etymological pairing.

The only thing left to comment on is the composition of the word okoto. I’ve already proposed that to translates to “greatness, largeness”, so that leaves only oko to decipher. Admittedly, there are very few cues left to us, at this point, and because this post is becoming overlong, I’ll simply leave it with the following proposal:

Proposal 3: The element oko translates to something that refers to a landmass or dwelling place, e.g. “land, place, home”, and it is modified by to “largeness, greatness” with a direct/concrete interpretation, hence “physically large”. This means that oko-to would translate roughly to “Great Land/Place/Home” (once again, parallel to the Matoran tradition of denoting placenames via the modifier nui “great”).


- We have identified and extracted the common element to in the terms toa “master, hero”, ta “group, hoard, collection”, and okoto, defined this word-element as “largeness, greatness”, and provided an account of its appearance in each term.
- Along the way, we’ve derived a fourth phonological rule affecting the vowel-sequence /oa/ (> /a/ word-finally, /o/ elsewhere).
- Lastly, we’ve proposed a preliminary translation of the word okoto, consisting of the element oko and to: Okoto “Great Land/Place/Home”.

Current Glossary:

-a “general noun (thing, object, person)”
e “?making, ?creating”
eki “maker” (< *ekui)
ekimu “mask maker”
ki “agent” (< *kui)
kuta “hoarder” (< *kuita)
m- “covering” (basic stem)
ma “covering, mask”
makuta “mask hoarder”
mu “mask” (< *mau)
oko “?land, place, home” (unclear)
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”


TLoO: Chapter 5

Posted by Tolkien , in Okotoan Language, linguistics, Bionicle, Matoran Language, Language and Etymology Feb 15 2015 · 364 views

The Language of Okoto

Chapter 5


Let’s continue with the breakdown of the word toa (< *toua). In order to delve a bit deeper, we will need a point of comparison, and I think this can be provided by bringing in the remaining reliably-native word Okoto. Connecting these two terms—one a title and the other the name of an island—might seem tenuous, but with the background we’ve already set up, I’m confident we can make some important headway.

However, unlike the previous instances where we were able to use comparison, this time we aren’t able to compare the meaning of these terms, since one of them (Okoto) doesn’t have a meaning (nor any clear indications as to what it could mean…yet!). So instead of starting with a comparison of meaning, we’ll have to start with a comparison of the surface form of these words only, and go from there:

Observation: The reconstructed term *toua (and its modern derivative toa) exhibits a sequence /to/. The word okoto also exhibits this sequence in isolation.

Based on these facts, we could conclude that there is a discrete unit to which is combined in various ways. This would imply that *toua is to be separated into at least two parts: *to-ua. Now, a further observation about the surface form of another word which has been previously assigned a meaning:

Observation: The reconstructed term *mau “mask” incorporates /u/.

Adding this into the mix, we might assume that -u in itself constitutes a separable element in both *mau and *toua, hence *ma-u and *to-u-a. As a consequence, this could further lead us to assume that the sequence /ma/ in *ma-u and the sequence /a/ in *to-u-a also constitute separable elements. Here’s a list of all the discrete units (whether they are independent words or some kind of affix) that we can derive, according to these assumptions:

tou- (in *tou-a)
to (in *to-u, oko-to)
ma (in *ma-u)
u (in *to-u, *ma-u)
a (in *tou-a)

Now at last we have a (tenuous) point of comparison in the form of the reconstructed elements *mau “mask” and *tou “???”, which forms a subpart of *tou-a “master, hero”. Using this comparison, we may be able to derive a meaning for each of the distinct elements, with a little creativity.

For this, we’ll have to consider some aspects of Okotoan culture in order to come to a conclusion on what the concepts of “mask” and “master, hero” might have in common. First, let’s consider the concept of masks on Okoto. They are clearly special, but in a somewhat different way than the Kanohi of the Matoran were. Okotoan masks have power, but they are also clearly valuable as products of artistry and skill, as evidenced by the prestige of the Mask Makers. Next, let’s think about the meaning of *toua “master, hero”. It’s pretty uncontroversial to say that a “master” is someone who is maximally skillful at whatever it is they do. At this point, you may already see where I’m going with this, so let’s codify it into a proposal:

Proposal 1: The element u translates roughly to “skill” or “ability”.

Alright, now let’s see how this would apply to *ma-u and *to-u-a. In the first case, it seems reasonable to assume that u would be a modifier indicating that the mask-object (represented by ma) is a product of (the Mask Maker’s) skill or ability. This works quite well, since u is placed second, giving it a direct/concrete interpretation:

ma-u = “a ?mask/object/ma with a direct/concrete relation to skill/ability”, i.e. something that is physically characterized by the application of skillfulness.

As for *to-u-a, we still don’t have meanings for to- or -a, so it’s a bit more difficult to characterize the function of u here. At the same time, we know that the result should be a term meaning “master, hero”, and this might lead us to assume that u “skill, ability”, in this case, is actually the primary element, with to- and -a being modifiers of some kind that intensify the meaning of “skill” (i.e. to “great skill, mastery”) and add the meaning of “an individual” to the word (“an individual with great skill/mastery; a master”). It should be noted that we already have the word ta “?hoarding, ?grouping” available as a comparison for to, and we could, in a preliminary way, assume that to expresses “greatness” in some sense, since ta seems to be related to concepts of groups or plurality (I’ll leave that to explore in a later post). That just leaves -a, and here’s the proposal:

Proposal 2: -a indicates a general noun (thing, object, person).

So bringing everything together, the complex form to-u would, at this stage in our analysis, translate roughly to “skill of ?greatness” (u “skill, ability” is the primary element, modified by to “?greatness” with an indirect/abstract interpretation), and in combination with -a “general noun (thing, object, person)”, that would yield:

tou-a = “a person/thing characterized by great skill/mastery; mastery-person”, i.e. a “master”.

At this point, I am tempted to continue and apply this conception of -a to the element ma, which has thus far only been defined as “mask/object”. Let’s go for it! Here’s the proposal:

Proposal 3: The element ma generally translates to “covering, mask”, and can be decomposed into the stem-element m- “covering” and the general noun marker -a.


- Using comparative methodology, we have broken down the reconstructed terms *mau and *toua into the units ma, to, u and a, and then we have made an attempt to furnish these units with meanings. In particular, u is translated as “skill, ability”, -a is translated as a general noun-marker for persons/things, and ma is translated as “covering, mask” (derived from a basic stem m- “covering” combined with -a), whereas to has been assigned the intermediate definition “?greatness” to be fleshed out later.

Current Glossary:

-a “general noun (thing, object, person)”
e “?making, ?creating”
eki “maker” (< *ekui)
ekimu “mask maker”
ki “agent” (< *kui)
kuta “hoarder” (< *kuita)
m- “covering” (basic stem)
ma “covering, mask”
makuta “mask hoarder”
mu “mask” (< *mau)
ta “?hoarding, ?grouping”
to “?greatness” (unclear)
toa “master, hero” (< *toua)
*tou “skill of ?greatness; mastery” (unclear; would become tu in the modern form of Okotoan)
u “skill, ability”

Chapter I

Posted Image


"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."


A Short Bio of the...Author?





LEGO/Bionicle enthusiast

a total nerd


0 user(s) viewing

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

Recent Comments