Why is the tongue is needed for speaking?

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bandmanjoe eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The tongue is a muscular piece of fleshy material that normally has it's place in the lower part of the mouth of humans.  Tongues are covered in small sensory cells calle papillae, which taste the different tastes in the food we eat.  The tongue also serves a secondary purpose in helping us speak.  Speaking is called "articulatory phonetics".  The tongue helps control the air flow through the throat and mouth; it can restrict the air flow by arching high between the teeth, and it can maximize the air flow by lying in a lower position between the lower set of teeth.  The tongue also helps us form our words by helping form the consonants and vowels in the words we are trying to speak.  The carefully orchestrated movements between the lips, the tongue and the vocal cords (the larynx) are the secret to how well we conduct ouselves within the oral form of communication known as speaking.

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