Using the roof of your mouth when speaking

When saying letters our mouth, tongue, teeth and lips do different things. I’m amazed how much we use the roof of our mouth when talking (14 of the 26 letters).

And it makes sense why we call a, e, i, o, u “vowels“. They come purely from the throat.

(7) dghjlnt: tip of tongue touch roof of mouth

(3) csz: tip of tongue close to roof of mouth

(3) kqx: back of tongue touch roof of mouth

(1) r: back of tongue close to roof of mouth

(4) bmpy: lipsmack

(2) fv: teeth touch lip

(6) aeiou: no tongue

(1) w: etc

This makes me wonder if other languages use other parts of the mouth more or less.

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18 years ago

Depends on the language, really. A number of languages use the glottis to make sounds, as well. It’s fascinating. (I was a speech pathology & audiology major as an undergrad.) This page is pretty neat, as far as demonstrating different world language sounds:

laura k.
laura k.
18 years ago

i vote we start calling vowels “bowels” instead.

Tom Saaristo
18 years ago

That’s funny! I often type “bowels” instead of “vowels” due to the proximity of each letter on the keyboard.

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