Protolucidian is a spoken and written language used by a minority of Illuminatia's population, with usage concentrated largely in the north and northeast of the continent. The language is never used exclusively, but is instead spoken in complement of Illuminatia's common language, Glossa Communi. Protolucidian is a constructed language that originated as a code language aboard the Lucidus mission. It is the youngest language known to the Illuminatian branch of humanity.
Protolucidian is natively spoken by approximately 15% of Illuminatia's population; about 23% of Illuminatians—including native users—are able to understand written and verbal Protolucidian as well as write and speak the language. The language is functionally understood by about 35% of Illuminatians. Protolucidian is taught electively in some schools, is printed in a small selection of alternative publications, and is broadcast on a small number of wireless and television outlets.
Protolucidian emerged early in the Lucidus mission from an assortment of secret code fragments and organically evolved from this disjointed and idiomatic convention into a cohesive code language.
Protolucidian originally was used discretionally among familial units and close acquaintances often merely for the purpose of informal private communications. Use of proprietary language other than official Glossa Communi, while not prohibited for private interaction for non-illicit purposes, was discouraged aboard the Lucidus mission because it was considered disruptive to long-term cohesive lingual comprehension. Nonetheless, these pre-Protolucidian lingual scraps were often used to conceal communications regarding forbidden or otherwise antisocial activities.
This collection of personal vernacular codes spoken privately aboard the Lucidus mission later homogenized into a loosely-developed non-regulated language shared among a significant minority of people for discreet communications. Aboard Lucidus, this language—eventually given the name Protolucidian—was shared as an oral tradition among close acquaintances and often passed down from parents to offspring.
Arriving upon Neonisi, usage of Protolucidian eventually became more public and increasingly normalized in some regions, where linguists pursued studies of the language to document its usage and recognize its cultural significance.
Early in the Lucidus mission, secret languages were developed on an ad hoc basis in efforts to communicate secretly or discreetly due to the possible perceived inconveniences or dangers of public or official detection of the meaning of some types of communicated messages between civilians. This code language allowed a perception of security among families aboard Lucidus in the event that the citizenry might need to communicate without decryption by Lucidian authorities and as a safeguard against the potential of abuse of absolute authority, oppression, or totalitarianism.
While a particular social unit's code language might be used only among a small closely-knit group of people, limited elements of a social unit's personal code language might be shared or seep into the lexicon of adjacent families and social units. Over time, this led to a homogenization of the secret language used among people who chose to communicate this way.
These informal code languages began to be taught to children by their parental units as a safety mechanism, allowing personal family communication in case of a dire situation requiring secrecy. By a point mid-way through the Lucidus mission, children were learning this unnamed language natively in parallel with their formal education in Glossa Communi. It wasn't until late in the Lucidus mission that this informal language was given the name Protolucidian by some scholars.
By the time Lucidus arrived upon the surface of Neonisi, the Protolucidian used aboard the mission had evolved into a singular collection of linguistic elements universally understood by those who knew the language, with elements including vocabulary, syntax, and a loose grammar.
Upon arrival on the surface of Neonisi, Protolucidian enjoyed public use for personal and unofficial communication among a significant minority of citizens, but never emerged as an official language and has not been recognized for use in education, commerce, or civic and governmental matters. The language is no longer strongly associated with illicit or antisocial activities.
Students now may learn Protolucidian electively in a minority of institutions across Illuminatia with emphasis on the language's cultural and aesthetic contribution to Illuminatian society. Print publication and broadcasting in the Protolucidian language primarily occurs in the north and northwest of the continent, though infrequent usage is detected throughout Illuminatia.
In everyday verbal and written usage Protolucidian is often interspersed with elements from Glossa Communi as a result of Protolucidian's status as an incomplete invented language. Protolucidian has a highly simplified structure compared to Glossa Communi, excluding many verb tenses that speakers of other languages might expect. There are syntactical structures, grammatical functionalities, and pieces of vocabulary that do not exist in Protolucidian that are often substituted with Glossa Communi, although often the adopted elements morph and slowly get adopted into acceptable shared informal Protolucidian usage.