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The Tongue

The Tongue

The mammalian tongue consists of a mass of interwoven, striated muscles interspaced with glands and fat and covered with mucous membrane. In humans the front tips and margins of the tongue usually touch the teeth, aiding in swallowing and speech. The top surface, or dorsum, contains numerous projections of the mucous membrane called papillae.

The Tongue

The Tongue and Speech | HowStuffWorks

The back section of your tongue contains something called the lingual tonsil (say lin-gwul tahn-sul). Lingual is a medical word that means having to do with the tongue, and tonsils are small masses of tissue that contain cells that help filter out harmful germs that could cause an infection in the body.

  the tongue is so vital an instrument of speech, it has become a metonym, or alternate term, for language. When people refer to their native or mother tongue or call an eloquent orator a silver tongue, they are referring in part to the tongues close connection to speech.

The tongue is a muscular organ in the mouth of most vertebrates that manipulates food for mastication and is used in the act of swallowing. It has importance in the digestive system and is the primary organ of taste in the gustatory system. The tongues upper surface (dorsum) is covered by taste buds housed in numerous lingual papillae. It is sensitive and kept moist by saliva and is richly supplied with nerves and blood vessels. The tongue also serves as a natural means of cleaning the teeth. A major function of the tongue is the enabling of speech in humans and vocalization in other animals. The human tongue is divided into two parts, an oral part at the front and a pharyngeal part at the back. The left and right sides are also separated along most of its length by a vertical section of fibrous tissue (the lingual septum) that results in a groove, the median sulcus, on the tongues surface. The four intrinsic muscles alter the shape of the tongue and are not attached to bone. The four paired extrinsic muscles change the position of the tongue and are anchored to bone.