For years now, I've been building and rebuilding an alternate Earth dense with geography, geology and wildlife. Among them is this world's equivalent of humans, Draculodon silvius, the "elf". Among purebred elves--elves that haven't interbred with their dwarf cousins--the average male stands 84 inches in height and 110 pounds in weight, whereas the average female stands 67 inches in height and 99 pounds in weight. Other differences are as follows:

  • Longer arms (65-77% the length of the body)
  • Longer hips
  • Shorter torsos
  • Longer necks
  • Pointed symmetrical outer ears averaging 3-5 inches in length
  • Asymmetrical inner ears 70% wider than our own
  • Longer feet
  • Thicker soles
  • Taller cheekbones
  • Longer, sharper canines
  • Larger molars
  • Tooth number: 44

So with those anatomical differences listed above, what sorts of phonemes, vowels and consonants could they be capable of speaking?

  • 1
    There’s really only one part of anatomy relevant to producing speech, namely the shape of the mouth. Do your elves have any significant differences to humans in this regard? If not (as appears to be the case), then they will produce exactly the same phones as humans can. – bradrn Jul 15 at 7:02
  • You say 44 teeth --- are those 44 tiny teeth in the usual upper / lower single row arch; or do they have 32 normal sized teeth and a bunch of (what for us would be supernumerary) other teeth, like in a case of hyperdontia? Or do they have really long jaws to accommodate the extra teeth. Also, where are the extra teeth located? More molars? Extra canines? – elemtilas yesterday
  • @elemtilas The incisors and the molars. – JohnWDailey yesterday
  • What about the incisors and the molars? – elemtilas yesterday
  • @elemtilas You asked where the extra teeth are located. – JohnWDailey yesterday

Your descriptions don't really indicate any different phonemes that could be articulated.

A longer neck might mean deeper voices if the larynx is located further down (as the resonance area beyond the larynx becomes larger); I would assume that the different dental configuration would also not change anything.

If you think of the various places of articulation in the mouth, they would still be in the same place.

However, while the range of sounds will be the same as possible in human languages, you canpick a different subset from the possibilities — any human language only uses a fraction of the possibilities. The composition of that subset would be what makes your language unique.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.