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Taia = Matoran Universe

bonesiii

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So, I have gotten to the part of my retelling where Makuta takes over, and I "discovered" (having apparently never consciously noticed) that officially, he nicknames the MU the "Makutaverse" at that time. I like the idea of him naming it after himself, but Makutaverse sounds hopelessly silly. For one thing, it's a fusion of both English and Matoran.

 

I got to thinking, though -- what if I come up with a Matoran word for "universe", and mix THAT with Makuta?

 

Looking into the Maori, I found a word for realm that is similar to (my shortened version here) Taia. Makutaia sounds cool, and even evokes his old lair, the Mangaia.

 

Also, Taia is WAY more concise than "Matoran Universe" and also avoids the acronym which looks like a cow is yelling. :P

 

Taia.

 

Or, longer version, Matoran Taia.

 

Likey no likey?

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Attempting to cleanse the BIONICLE canon of things that are "hopelessly silly" is, in itself, hopelessly silly.

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Er, MT is a cool acronym, but it's confusing and ambigious. Matoran Taia? Makuta Taia? Makuta Teridax? Taia might work, or Makutaia, but it's at first glance confusing. I don't think this will get rid of the MU acronym, if that was your intent.

In further case, a number of "Matoran" words are derived from English, so the fact that "Makutaverse" is does not disqualify it from being legitamate Matoran word. (However, I think the term was fan-derived, not part of the official canon, as you seem to imply.)

Edit: Correcting my scatterbrainedness.

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Interesting...but why use straight, unfiltered Maori for this? Matoran isn't Maori. Unless this is meant to be just an abbreviation of convenience (i.e., not a plausible piece of Bionicle lore), in which case, no real opinion, I guess. I'd rather have something Matoran. =P

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Hey, then when Makuta takes over, you could call it the Makutaia!

Right, that's what I had in mind. :)

 

For the record, the vast majority of the time I will probably keep it "Matoran Universe" in the story, but I could go back and edit this in somewhere as an alternative, as having synonyms is usually good for narrative purposes.

 

Interesting...but why use straight, unfiltered Maori for this?

It isn't -- I mentioned in the entry that my version is shortened. The actual Maori word is "Taiao". :) This is meant to be Matoran, simply inspired by Maori.

 

You could even consider it evidenced entirely without appealing to Maori and just look at the similar Maori word as further inspiration. Since evidently the word "Makuta" would mix well with whatever their non-translated word for "universe" is, I looked for things starting with "Ta" or having it somewhere in the word. Multiple islands end in "ia" -- Xia, Daxia, etc. And like I said, there's evidence Makuta would like the "aia" sound since he chose that as the ending for his lair. So when I saw taiao, it was just a perfect match for what I was looking for, IMO. But a bit heavy on the vowels -- so just dropped the o.

 

To be fair, "-verse" could imply the actual word has a prefix he's leaving off, but that could just as likely be seen as a translator's appeal to an existing trope in English, and that in the actual language something similar to this happens; in this case shortening "Makutataia" to cut the second "ta". Anyway, that was my thinking. :)

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Do. Not. Diss. The cows...

 

Anyway, MT kinda makes it sound like a giant mountain is falling on top of Makuta's head. So, it's a perfect fit in that respect.

 

Anyway, I can't help but picture Maku's old name in Makutaia. This means that she was the true villain of the piece all along, which is about half right.

 

You see, Macku, before she changed her name, used her boat to travel to the ruins of Metru Nui in search of a powerful weapon to use in order to take control of Mata Nui (be that the island or giant robot, it is unclear). While her efforts were mostly fruitless, she did manage to poison the would-be Inika with vissy venom. Fortunately they were electrocuted which altered the venom's effects, thus making them toa which could shoot lightning on top of their elemental powers.

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It isn't -- I mentioned in the entry that my version is shortened. The actual Maori word is "Taiao". :) This is meant to be Matoran, simply inspired by Maori.

Ah, okay, missed that. But even so, for all practical purposes, isn't "inspired by Maori" pretty much the same as "taken from Maori"? And by practical purposes I mean: "Could this work as a canon Matoran word?" Legally? Not if it's derived from Maori. I guess, in the grand scheme of things, I'd still love a term that has some kind of grounding in actual Matoran etymology.

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Ah, okay, missed that. But even so, for all practical purposes, isn't "inspired by Maori" pretty much the same as "taken from Maori"? [...] I guess, in the grand scheme of things, I'd still love a term that has some kind of grounding in actual Matoran etymology.

If you're saying you don't like Bionicle-language words inspired by real-world, that's cool, but it's something I greatly prefer, as it makes them more meaningful than just picking something random. Etymology derived from actual canon Matoran is just as grounded in Maori and other real-world languages, so it's six of one, half dozen of the other.

 

But you could also see it as just adding "ia" to "Makuta", which is a suffix common to English and deriving I think from Latin? One of those. And then subtract Maku. (lol @ Tekulo BTW). The cool thing is this works from many different angles. IMO that's a great reason to go with it; if you don't like thinking of it as coming from Maori, look at it in another way.

 

And by practical purposes I mean: "Could this work as a canon Matoran word?" Legally? Not if it's derived from Maori.

Not sure I'm following you here. No fan-made words work for canon, legally. Whether pure random generation or inspired from real-world languages; the LEGO legal department made that decision years ago. You probably know this, but just checking. :P And many words that remained canon come from Maori. The vast majority of the originals do, and that's a style I've always liked a lot, arguably best, in Bionicle. :)

 

However, if there were legal problems with using "Taiao" for the express reason of being a Maori word, this isn't that word, so it would seem to be a moot point, unless I'm misunderstanding you. (It might have other issues, I dunno, though. Google says it's the name of a river in Romania... but not much else shows up.) But it really doesn't matter as I'm not talking about canon at all but whether people like this for use in my fanfic. :) (This isn't like that Mask of Creation poll for example which included a potential canon part, so belonged in S&T.)

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I have to agree, I definitely prefer to derive custom BIONICLE words and names from real-world languages when possible, rather than following the elaborate linguistic analyses people put forth to create an elaborate system of Matoran grammar, mechanics, and word formation. Drawing inspiration from real life feels a little bit more sincere, to me — it's an acknowledgement that BIONICLE is a fictional universe with hard-working human creators who more often than not drew their inspiration from the real world. As a result, not everything is going to make sense internally, and that's perfectly OK, because the goal is to create a universe for the enjoyment of an outside viewer.

 

Sometimes the inconsistency of the BIONICLE universe's official terminology bothers me, like how many later Matoran tribes' prefixes were so often derived from obvious English words. But I get over it. After all, even if the theme started out drawing most of its names from Pacific and Polynesian languages, it didn't stay that way, and I think some names are better for it. "Pakastaa", taken from Finnish, and Mamoru, taken from Japanese, are just as compelling as names like Onepu, Taipu, and Kopeke which came straight from Maori. To people who don't know the root languages, the names sound "exotic", while to people who do, they carry an extra layer of meaning and significance that others might not be able to appreciate.

 

Early on, my brother and I tried to make all our custom BIONICLE names as safe and meaningless from a real-world legal standpoint as possible. To my knowledge, "Aanchir" does not have any meaning in any language, nor does "Lyichir". Over time, as I grew to appreciate the significant meanings of a lot of BIONICLE names, including both older ones like "keahi" and "nuri" that were ripped directly from real-world languages and newer ones like "Carapar" and "Icarax" that were corrupted slightly for a more unique and trademarkable look and sound, I started to try and mimic this meaning in the names I used. I still try to do a Google search before posting a name to ensure that the name doesn't already belong to any other people or their creations, but I don't corrupt names to the point of meaninglessness just to keep them "Googleproof".

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If you're saying you don't like Bionicle-language words inspired by real-world, that's cool, but it's something I greatly prefer, as it makes them more meaningful than just picking something random. Etymology derived from actual canon Matoran is just as grounded in Maori and other real-world languages, so it's six of one, half dozen of the other.

I didn’t say that, no. As you said—most of the original names/terms in Bionicle, in fact the majority of them, were derived from real world languages in some form or another. We all know that. That being said, it’s not six one way, half dozen another when it comes to Maori. Bionicle words were taken from Maori originally, yes, but that stopped pretty early on for very specific reasons (i.e., appropriation of Maori culture/language). We have a specific set of Maori-derived Matoran words that are "in bounds", and therefore I would argue that etymologies derived from those canon Matoran words are legitimate. Etymologies derived from randomly picked Maori words after the fact are not if you want them to line up with the canon. In fact, that last point seems to be the central issue here:

 

Not sure I'm following you here. No fan-made words work for canon, legally. Whether pure random generation or inspired from real-world languages; the LEGO legal department made that decision years ago. You probably know this, but just checking. And many words that remained canon come from Maori. The vast majority of the originals do, and that's a style I've always liked a lot, arguably best, in Bionicle.

I’m well aware of the details and legalities of what counts as canon. Here’s my point: I like to expand on the canon. Most of us do. And if I’m going to expand on the canon, I want it mesh with and be acceptable as canon, regardless of whether or not there’s any real-world possibility of said expansion being accepted as canon (which there isn’t). Simply put, that means no taking words from Maori, since Maori has been off-limits since early '02. And since the issue with Maori was related to cultural appropriation (i.e., not copyrighting), it makes sense that slightly modifying words from Maori is also off-limits. Pretty simple. Just because there’s no chance of a fan-expansion being accepted as canon doesn’t mean those fan-expansions can’t still be held to the same standards as canon would be. That’s my choice, of course. But maybe not yours.

 

I have to agree, I definitely prefer to derive custom BIONICLE words and names from real-world languages when possible, rather than following the elaborate linguistic analyses people put forth to create an elaborate system of Matoran grammar, mechanics, and word formation. Drawing inspiration from real life feels a little bit more sincere, to me — it's an acknowledgement that BIONICLE is a fictional universe with hard-working human creators who more often than not drew their inspiration from the real world. As a result, not everything is going to make sense internally, and that's perfectly OK, because the goal is to create a universe for the enjoyment of an outside viewer.

 

I feel like this may be directed at me, but maybe not. Either way--I certainly hope we agree that your approach ("Drawing inspiration from real life") and the approaches of others ("...elaborate linguistic analyses...") are equally legitimate contributions to the Bionicle fandom. They both express the passion and varying interests of Bionicle fans, and they are both, I think, very sincere.

 

EDIT: And just to make sure the connection to the MU-name is clear: because of the reasons stated above, I'd rather derive a name for the MU internally via already-established Matoran content instead of externally via borrowing/modification from a real-world language.

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We have a specific set of Maori-derived Matoran words that are "in bounds", and therefore I would argue that etymologies derived from those canon Matoran words are legitimate. Etymologies derived from randomly picked Maori words after the fact are not if you want them to line up with the canon.

But again, the original canon did indeed draw inspiration from Maori primarily, so if we want to be consistent, it makes sense to continue to look at the Maori for ideas. Anyways, you may be overthinking what I'm asking here; like I said, if you don't want to consider it Maori-related, keep in mind I was already looking for something possibly starting with "Ta" because of what's already canon, (which incidentally also fits with "Mata"), and "ia" as a suffix is also already canon, as is "aia". Right? What I'm asking is more if people like the sound of it. :)

 

Simply put, that means no taking words from Maori, since Maori has been off-limits since early '02.

Even if we accept that premise, which I don't (Bionicle has continued to use inspiration from real-world languages; Maori is just as valid a source as any other), I'm really not seeing the problem here, since every part of this word is already well evidenced from existing canon, which sounds like what you're arguing for... so...? Wuzzada problem? :P

 

In any case, it has always been agreed on BZPower that while LEGO can choose not to draw inspiration from Maori due to raw emotions and the like in the "Tohunga Incident", that it remains appropriate for fans to continue to use that word or Maori inspiration. But if your tastes are such so as not to agree, that's fine. I'm just saying, it sounds like the standard you're putting forward here is a great fit to this, since every part makes etymological sense from pre-existing canon. :)

 

While it's true that I didn't think of "taia" before seeing the Maori, I still instantly realized how it fits perfectly (IMO?) with established canon. (That happens a lot when you look at the Maori, which is one reason I keep checking it. :))

 

[Note: I opted not to include "Tohunga" in my retelling, FTR, but more out of a goal to keep things simple for space considerations than anything else. In my Paracosmos I do use it roughly how it was in the "original canon", with the later change back to Matoran symbolizing their re-embracing of unity.

 

Anyways, my point is that I do not at all accept the premise that the self-imposed rules LEGO opted for in the canon are in any way also applicable to fanfics. LEGO was wise to impose those rules, but it's a profit-making toy company, and we're just writing fan fiction, which can be more free to be higher quality. The argument is also self-refuting, since it is saying we should model LEGO's behavior. But many of recognize that LEGO had a good idea in drawing inspiration from a great language, which has only increased our understanding of a different culture by inspiring ongoing research. Since LEGO did that too, then patterning our actions on LEGO means that's also a valid route to take.

 

Since your own argument accepts that words used prior to a certain date are valid, there's no magical reason that date prevents the same validity from extending into the future. Those of us who resonate deeply with that style don't have the option of hopping in a time machine. :P Some things are just timeless.]

 

Just because there’s no chance of a fan-expansion being accepted as canon doesn’t mean those fan-expansions can’t still be held to the same standards as canon would be.

Based on this sentence, I suspect the issue is you are subjectively (perhaps erroneously?? but it might be a taste thing) seeing drawing inspiration from real-world languages as a lower standard. But IMO it's clearly the other way around, although there's nothing particularly wrong with randomness either. Especially for Bionicle, because it was started that way, and consistency is important. LEGO's later avoidance of anything* Maori came across to a lot of people as overcorrection, a lowering of quality, albeit done with good intentions.

 

*Not sure, but I think some of the Mata Nui map names that were later assigned "original" meanings were from Maori or similar languages.

 

 

As for "appropriation", let's not rehash the whole "problem with Ninjago" thing here. I just want to know if people like the sound of this, and if they don't like the Maori inspiration, just look at the in-story reasons it fits with no need to reference the Maori word. :) It draws just as much on the existing word "Makuta", and "ia". (Is it appropriation if it comes from Latin? Nobody seems to think so, so that argument seems inconsistent to me, and even the vast majority of English is borrowed from other languages anyways.)

 

Incidentally, I also liked Taiao because of its similarity to Chinese Tao; "Way", although that isn't so relevant etymologically, but also Taia for its similarity to Gaia -- so there's LOTS of inspiration from different cultures going on here, Maori just being one.

 

 

 

Edit: Here's another possibility -- Mataia. Literally, just add "ia" to "Mata" (as in Mata Nui). Taia could simpy be a shortened form of that, or even the second-half being "translated" as "-verse". "Ia" clearly already means "place" in Matoran, and "Mata" means Spirit, also with connotations from Matoran. And then there's the fact that the element prefix for Fire, which is commonly traditional for leaders, is Ta. Just so many ways to come at it! (I do think I prefer Taia over Mataia, but yeah.)

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Based on this sentence, I suspect the issue is you are subjectively (perhaps erroneously?? but it might be a taste thing) seeing drawing inspiration from real-world languages as a lower standard.

If I have a choice of coming up with a new Matoran word that fits with canon, where would I rather derive it from? Two choices: (a) break the fourth wall and take it from a human language, or (b) fabricate it from already established canon material. As someone who cares about the internal consistency of the canon (and I'm sure you do too), I'd go with (b). Maybe that is subjective personal choice. As you say, I don't think we're really conflicting that much here. If I could come up with a Matoran etymology for Taia, I'd probably be okay with it, although my intuition says that there might be a better option...Either way. carry on.

 

LEGO's later avoidance of anything* Maori came across to a lot of people as overcorrection, a lowering of quality, albeit done with good intentions.

That doesn't really matter. You might have thought it was overcorrection. I don't care if it was. The result was that we had a set of okay Maori words to use--and we still do, so...Minor point though.

 

As for "appropriation", let's not rehash the whole "problem with Ninjago" thing here.

I'm probably missing context here. Is this a thing now? Feel free to just say "yes" and leave it, since I'm not up on forum activity these days. =P Either way, the Latin comparison is a non-sequitor, although there probably is a legit example out there for you to use. LEGO went for Latin in the Bara Magna years because it's potentially easier to clear legally and it's not likely to offend anyone since it's a "dead" language (and Roman culture is similarly absent). yadda yadda

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Tolkien, I must say your posts have surprised me, in that while it's perfectly valid for you to express reasons you (apparently?) dislike this suggestion, you haven't done the thing people would normally do in such cases, and which you're famous for. :P So, rather than continue to reply line by line, why don't I just cut to the chase, and ask (I'm serious -- curious, this isn't meant combatively :)), what alternatives would you suggest?

 

Either way, the Latin comparison is a non-sequitor, although there probably is a legit example out there for you to use. LEGO went for Latin in the Bara Magna years because it's potentially easier to clear legally and it's not likely to offend anyone since it's a "dead" language (and Roman culture is similarly absent).

I'm not sure why you say the first phrase here -- how so? (If you mean what comes after to explain it, the problem is that "ia" is, as I said, also part of English culture and several others, so it's still real-world and very much not dead.) But again, let's just grant the argument and call it agreeing to disagree; this is all kind of distracting from what I wanted this entry to be asking about, which wasn't whether you like how I happened to be inspired for this one, but whether you like it for what it is. :) The Maori thing is just an added bonus really, for those who resonate with that approach.

 

Main reason I'm quoting this is just for two minor nitpicks -- it's "non sequitur" (even I messed it up for years too, though, so no biggie :P), and Xia and such predate Bara Magna.

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It's your party, bones. =P You asked for opinions on your idea, and I gave a few (too many? Maybe so). I don't make a habit of crashing other peoples' parties with my silly stuff.

 

But since you asked, I'll bite: I'd go with a word meaning "body". I've got one ready at hand, but it requires a few assumptions about Matoran etymology that might not sit well with you/others. It derives from no "protodermis": ono or onoi. I'd use Ono Nui or Onoi Nui as a general Matoran word for "universe". As for the "Makutaverse" connection, that'd be Makuta-Ono/Onoi, literally "body of Makuta".

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(too many? Maybe so)

Nah, it's all cool; more to discuss. I just felt I should focus the discussion is all. :)

 

And interesting idea. I'll let others say whether they like it. ^_^

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I like Tolkien's, though I did try to find a way to have Taia fit into his extrapolated etymologies. I think I did, but he never responded to it on Skype so... Ono Nui sounds cool. Makuta-Ono... Actually does sound a little Polynesian when I say it out loud,

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I don't see anything wrong with suggesting a new fan-made name to be established into canon. To be honest, at some point BZPower members and other fans are going to need to start deciding together new canon in place of Lego as they aren't any longer interested in continuing the line.

 

It's helpful to remember that Matoran words such as "Toa" and phrases such as "Mata Nui" come straight from Maori, and it would be pretty challenging to tell the Bionicle story without mentioning Toa or Mata Nui. I don't necessarily believe that Lego should have taken those names in the first place, but now that they have and they're so deeply ingrained in Bionicle, taking new words from Maori shouldn't be an issue.

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I don't see anything wrong with suggesting a new fan-made name to be established into canon.

Unfortunately, LEGO's lawyers disagree. :P Previous attempts were turned down and the official policy became to only use names from a list LEGO already cleared through legal, and those are now being used for HF instead.

 

We can think of it as "fanon" though if people like it.

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Sorry Bones; I meant "fanon". We definitely can't make our own official canon here at BZPower, but it just seems like a shame to me that it's likely that no new canon is ever going to be produced if Lego remains the only source of canon.

 

By the way, I like the acronym/new word, and I'd like to use it in my own fan fiction, if that's okay.

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I like this. Do you mind if I too use this? I had never thought of using another word for the Matoran Universe used by its natives. For the natives of Spheros Magnos, I used the term Metal Realm, or Myatilliki Sphaira, slang being 'Myataira'.

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