The snake-people are humanoid creatures with snake-like traits:

Their mouth and nose are longer than in humans. The tongue can work as in humans, but sits only in the front half of the jaw and is forked. The rear half contains the opening of the larynx, which has no epiglottis. The nasal passage is roughly human in its structures, and their face has muscles as in humans

I have already worked out some of the sounds which would be impossible to pronounce, specifically the velar, uvular, and epiglottal sounds (their tongue can't reach velum and uvula, and they don't have an epiglottis). It also seems they may have issues with back vowels. However, I am unsure if there are other sounds which their anatomy could prevent

  • Well, snakes also don't have very flexible lips (or no lips at all?), so maybe their labial consonants would be restricted?
    – Cecilia
    Commented Jul 25, 2022 at 1:13
  • That's what I was about to ask: do they have lips? Can their tongue create a good closure anywhere in the mouth?
    – Draconis
    Commented Jul 25, 2022 at 5:46

1 Answer 1


If they can independently control each half of their forked tongue(s) they have unique phonology accessible - double articulation in human languages is rare and only some consonant combinations are observed, but with such a tongue they can co-articulate almost all the possible consonants (most likely alveolars, but if they have lips, also labials+alveolars, dentals etc...). This alone might give you enough richness to compensate for the missing consonants (and quite uniquely sounding languages) - and if not, perhaps their languages will have to resort to tones to get enough syllables.

To summarize:

  • if they have flexible mouths and finely controlled tongues, the languages will prominently feature double articulation (of some consonants)
  • if not, their languages will be likely prominently tonal

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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