• Question: How do we talk?

    Asked by kingfishers30 to Alex, Kate, Marcus on 26 Jun 2014.
    • Photo: Marcus Johns

      Marcus Johns answered on 26 Jun 2014:

      Air from our lungs is passed through our vocal chords, which vibrate creating a sound. We then use bits of our mouths – the tongue, lips, teeth and the roof of the mouth – to shape the sound and create speech!

    • Photo: Alex Lyness

      Alex Lyness answered on 26 Jun 2014:

      Hey Kingfishers30,

      Talking is amazing as often we don’t even need to think about it, we just think stuff and our brain coordinates it all!

      There are many parts of the body that help us produce speech, these include your muscles, lungs, voice box, tongue, teeth, lips, and even your nose!

      Speech starts below the stomach with the diaphragm. This is a large muscle that helps push air from the lungs into the voice box. The vocal cords vibrate to produce your voice and, as Marcus said, the lips, tongue, and teeth form the sounds to make speech.

      For example, the tip of the tongue touches just behind your top teeth to make a “D” sound. If you move your tongue you can change how much air goes in and out and how much the vocal cords vibrate. Try it, humans can make over 40 different speech sounds this way!!!

      Sometimes the sounds even come out through your nose! Try pinching your nose and say “mmm.” You will feel your nose vibrate!

      Have fun 😀