Monoduga are famous across Neyush for their psychic link. To any other species, monoduga cities are eerily silent, the residents sharing raw ideas and needs directly with each other without needing to bother with language.
Some monoduga are either born without this link, or lose it due to injury or magical interference. Referred to as the Severed, these people were historically simply cast out. Historical records show that Severed were often harshly treated and viewed as outright inferior to the rest of monoduga society.
In recent years, travel between continents has become more and more available. Some Severed, having traveled through different lands and cultures, came back to Monyus with the idea to create Monolata - a spoken language designed to be modular and simple to pick up, in order to allow better communication.
Thanks to the unique nature of the psychic link between monoduga, referred to by a lot of people as a sort of hive mind, all of them now have the knowledge and ability to speak monolata almost from birth. It didn't take long for the language to go from conception to common usage, especially as more monoduga got involved and started adding more vocabulary.
It is rare to hear Monolata spoken anywhere other than Monyus, as its main function is to facilitate communication between Severed Monoduga.
In order to be as accessible as possible, both for monoduga that may only recently have begun learning to speak and for any other intelligent species that wishes to learn it, the phonology was chosen to be small enough that any intelligent being could reasonably approximate the sounds while still being broad enough to allow for a functional language.
The labial and alveolar fricatives <f> and <s> are the only two true fricatives. Vena famously speak with many more, but other species (notably cecaelea) struggle to differentiate between more than a couple of different ones. These fricatives can freely be voiced or unvoiced without changing the meaning of the word.
To further add to the ease of speaking monolata, the palatal stops* <ch> and <j> are interchangeable with their fricative counterparts <sh> and <zh>.
The labial liquid <w> was purposefully left out as too similar to the voiced labial fricative <v>, and therefore potentially confusing for native speakers of other languages.
The biggest sign of careful engineering is in the stops, or plosives. While some languages differentiate between many features within stops (ejected, aspirated, voiced, unvoiced), Monolata only has two different types. Unaspirated plus unvoiced, or aspirated plus voiced. In this way, for example, a speaker who is used to aspiration but not voicing could simply voice every stop and still be understood thanks to aspiration alone, as long as the listener is aware that the speaker is using that distinction.
|Stop||p / bh||t / dh||ch / jh||k / gh|
|Fricative||f||s||ch / jh||-|
*<ch> and <j> and are often referred to as affricates, but are considered stops in Monolata to ease definitions, as the language doesn't feature any other affricates.
As with many languages, vowels are a much simpler topic than consonants. Again inspired by the existing languages spoken on Neyush, a simple 5 vowel system <iueoa> (two front, two back, one low) was selected to strike a balance between simplicity and versatility.
In the early days of its conception, the three vowel system <iua> was originally suggested to maximise simplicity. This was ultimately decided against, as travelling monoduga found that no other species struggled to differentiate between the 5 vowels.
As Monolata is a completely engineered language, very word is taken from an existing language and morphed to fit the consonant-vowel format. Even the word Monolata comes from the roots:
'Mo' (a combination or mix, from the Old Elivena amor)
'No' (consciousness, from the Qatätsäne Nä'iq)
'Lata' (language, from the Qatätsäne Llatä).
The language is maintained by a group of both Severed and non-severed monoduga. New words have to be approved before they are recognised and officially spread to the hive mind, so any non-severed monoduga will only know those words that have been approved.
The heavily information dense plans that monoduga psychically cross-reference to decipher