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Final Chapter

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

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Mask Maker

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.   Updates:   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)

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Survivors of the Red Star

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 re

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Mask of Light - Matoran Language Script Translation

[cross-post]   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

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TLoO: Chapter 10 - An Okotoan Grammar

The Language of Okoto   Chapter 10: An Okotoan Grammar   [crosspost]   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 C

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TLoO: Chapter 9

The Language of Okoto   Chapter 9   [crosspost]   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 loo

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TLoO: Chapter 8

The Language of Okoto   Chapter 8   [crosspost]   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

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TLoO: Chapter 7

The Language of Okoto   Chapter 7   [crosspost]   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’

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TLoO: Chapter 6

The Language of Okoto   Chapter 6   [crosspost]   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

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TLoO: Chapter 5

The Language of Okoto   Chapter 5   [crosspost]   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 inst

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TLoO: Chapter 4

The Language of Okoto Chapter 4   [crosspost]   That’ll do for the names Ekimu and Makuta for the time being. Now let’s turn to another part of the dataset, one word in particular: Toa. I’ve already hinted at how I intend to incorporate this term into the sketch of the Okotoan Language, so might as well get on with it:   Assumption: The term toa translates to “master” or “hero”.   Where do we go from here? Because we only have one term to look at, there isn’t quite the same opportunity for com

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TLoO: Chapter 3

The Language of Okoto   Chapter 3   [crosspost]   Now that we’ve taken the first step in breaking down the dataset, it’s time to go a bit further. Recall that, thus far, we’ve decomposed the names ekimu and makuta into eki “maker” plus *mau “mask” (“mask maker”) and *mau “mask” plus kuta “hoarder” (“mask hoarder”). For this post, let’s focus on these newly-derived elements eki and kuta and try to break them down even further.   First of all, consider their meanings: “maker” and “hoarder”. Both

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TLoO: Chapter 2

The Language of Okoto   Chapter 2   [crosspost]   (Note that the material in this post is basically a culled-down/revised version of this post.)   Now that we’ve collected a dataset, the next step in the project to construct an Okotoan Language is to take a part of that dataset and attempt to break it down into smaller units. The best way to do this is to assign some reasonable meanings to a few of the terms available and then use a bit of comparative methodology and some etymological know-how

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The Language of Okoto: Chapter 1

The Language of Okoto   Preface   I’m afraid I have indeed succumbed to the secret vice once again. It was probably inevitable, even though the linguistic material incorporated into Generation 2 of Bionicle is admittedly quite a bit less than the material that was available in Generation 1. Ultimately, however, I decided that the lack of material shouldn’t deter creativity, and so this series of posts has grown and expanded to a pretty decent size (roughly 10 posts) over the past month or so.

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The Glyphs of Okoto

Since the release of the Bionicle 2015 media, various people have taken note of the system of symbols or glyphs that consistently appear throughout the island of Okoto. They show up in nearly every one of the story animations--on ruins, statues, the Temple of Time...even the Mask of Creation is covered in them. This has, unsurprisingly, generated questions about whether or not these symbols are purely decorative or if they in fact constitute a functioning writing system, along the lines of the G

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Auld Lang Syne / Ivaha Vahai

[ don't forget]   I wanted to do one final Matoran Language translation for the year, and what better text to translate than "Auld Lang Syne"? In fact, the theme of the song feels doubly appropriate for the Bionicle fandom this year, with the final closure of the original line and the exciting rise of the new generation of sets and story. With that in mind, I decided to translate the titular Scots refrain Auld Lang Syne "Days of Long Ago" using the familiar Matoran phrase Ivaha Vahai "In the

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The Prophecy of Heroes

The Prophecy of Heroes   Hear now, my son, what the prophecy says:   When times are dark and all hope seems lost,   The Protectors must unite, one from each tribe.   Evoke the power of past and future,   And look to the skies for an answer.   When the stars align, six comets will bring timeless heroes   To claim the Masks of Power and find the Mask Maker.   United, the elements hold the power to defeat evil…   United, but not one.       Toavakamaja   Ro’o, aka

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Naming the Toa Mata

Naming the Toa Mata   [ over there]   Assumption #1: The names of the Toa Mata were constructed at the very beginning of the Matoran Universe and have preserved their forms throughout history; hence, they provide a window on the form of the Matoran Language in its earliest stages.   Assumption #2: The names of the Toa Mata should be subjected to only the most limited of sound changes (if any), in contrast to other Bionicle names/terms, which are more likely to have been systematically altere

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CHIKTCHIKTCHIKT

[it must be cleaned]   The Bohrok have remained shrouded in mystery since the earliest stages of Matoran history, their origin and purpose the subject of much superstition. The first Bohrok nests were discovered by Onu-Matoran mining beneath the city of Metru Nui in the period shortly after the Coming of Mata Nui . The nests were already quite ancient and were at first assumed to be the tombs of the original founders of the City of Legends (It would be another hundred thousand years before this

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Irnakk the Fearsome: As real as pain and death

Irnakk the Fearsome: As real as pain and death   [ yikes]   Although Matoran culture doubtless remains the most widely recognized and influential of the cultural systems which arose within the Matoran Universe, it was not the only culture to exist. The various non-Matoran races created by the Great Beings eventually formed their own individual cultural variations, although the imprint of Matoran culture remained. One interesting example of this interplay between cultural concepts – especiall

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Nuparu and the Dakhi-Na Vahki / The Six Commandments of the Law

Nuparu and the Dakhi-Na Vahki / The Six Commandments of the Law   [ also there]   The Onu-Matoran engineer-inventor Nuparu is well-known as the creator of the last generation of law-enforcement automatons to be implemented in the city of Metru Nui prior to the Great Cataclysm. This was the culmination of a series of attempts to control crime-rates and unrest spanning the period after the tragic events of the Matoran Civil War.   While it is true that Nuparu was primarily responsible for the

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Ik(h)ukravai: The Night of Life and Death

[boo]   rakha-su-hakha |idm.| trick or treat [From rakha "to trick; lit. 'make smthg. system-abnormal'", su "or (conj.)", and hakha "to treat; lit. 'make smthg. system-normal"]   ======================   The origin of this phrase can be found in the development of a relatively recent Matoran holiday, originally celebrated in Metru Nui and later transplanted into the Matoran-Agori culture of Spherus Magna. The holiday began as a memorial marking one of the greatest losses of life that occurred du

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Roots & Stems

Oh hi. It’s been a while, hasn’t it? At least, it’s been a while since I posted anything of substance here. I’ve actually been pretty freakishly active on my tumblr blog over the last couple of months, although not so much in recent weeks. That’s due to the fact that the academic year has once again begun, and my time is now mostly consumed by a combination of teaching and coursework. woo But, in spite of that, I have managed to eke out something that might be of interest to the Matoran language

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star-spangly

July 4th? Independence Day? This seemed appropriate:   "The Star-Spangled Banner" (first verse)   O say can you see / by the dawn's early light, What so proudly we hailed / at the twilight's last gleaming, Whose broad stripes and bright stars / through the perilous fight, O'er the ramparts we watched, / were so gallantly streaming? And the rockets' red glare, / the bombs bursting in air, Gave proof through the night / that our flag was still there; O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave,

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Matoran Grammar: A Primer

I've posted a few examples of texts in the Matoran language on this blog so far, and if you lurk elsewhere on the internet, you may have seen quite a few more. Most of these translations make use of a particular model of Matoran grammar, one that has undergone many alterations over the years. At this point, I thought it might be useful/interesting to share that grammar in its current state. So here's a basic overview—a cheatsheet, if you will. Have fun with it.       ===========================

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