I apologize for my crude line of questioning, as I'm not well-versed in physics at all but it fascinates me. I was researching the concept of "imaginary-time" and the shuttlecock model of the universe proposed by Hawking and Hartle, and the descriptions I've read explain that the universe started WITHOUT a dimension of time on a vertical axis, but imaginary-time on a horizontal axis which is analagous to a fourth spatial dimension, but that time emerges "later on". I suppose this question is more about the etymology of terms, because I'm confused by these descriptions.
In what sense can there be a "later on" without time if it hasn't emerged as a property yet? Do they mean "later on" in some kind of hyper-time? Like the whole time passes at one second per one second of hyper-time argument? Could they be talking about a block universe where there is no "passage of time" but instead relationships between static bodies along their worldlines that create the illusion of a dynamic universe and time passing? Do they mean that entropy and the arrow of time emerged later on? I clearly have some misconception about what they mean with reference to time, I believe.