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16 votes
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What are language concepts that could be considered to be based on human anatomy?

Some obvious ones: Phonetics, be it of spoken or signed language, is obviously constrained by the body of humans - both in the channels (aural, visual) employed and also in how they are employed. ...
Sascha Baer's user avatar
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10 votes

Which IPA phones can be made and understood underwater?

From reading the answers to the Worldbuilding SE you reference, I would draw the following conclusions: anything unvoiced goes out of the window. So no /f/, /p/, /k/, /t/, /s/ etc. They are pretty ...
Oliver Mason's user avatar
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6 votes

What are language concepts that could be considered to be based on human anatomy?

I think the question is not well formulated. Mostly because "language concepts" (e.g. tense-aspect-mood systems, animacy, verbal valence, case systems...) reflect the workings of the human mind far, ...
Circeus's user avatar
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6 votes

Which IPA phones can be made and understood underwater?

A while ago, someone on reddit tried to test this experimentally (using a bathtub). Here’s what they found: Vowels Overall, these were the hardest to distinguish (at least personally). ...
Sascha Baer's user avatar
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5 votes
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Which sounds could a lipless humanoid produce?

At first sight, it seems that it is impossible for the lipless humanoids to produce any sounds that involve the lips in their production, this concerns the following groups of sounds: bilabial ...
Sir Cornflakes's user avatar
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5 votes

What are language concepts that could be considered to be based on human anatomy?

Just a couple of sci-fi examples: Niven and Pournelle's The Mote in God's Eye has a race with two small manipulating arms on one side, and a large "gripping hand" arm on the other. Even the ...
Rendu's user avatar
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5 votes

Is a language in which a person will not have rhotacism, neither lambdacism when speaking it realistic?

To answer the actual question asked, lacking /r/ and /l/ doesn't seem especially odd. It's very plausible for /l/ to turn into /w/, for example, or for /r/ to turn into /z/ or /h/. But the rest of ...
Draconis's user avatar
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4 votes

What are language concepts that could be considered to be based on human anatomy?

Much of by is based upon anatomy. Mostly that of Phonetics, and, by extension, phonological change and glottochronology. If you look at the IPA, the various phonemes are based upon point of ...
Zoey's user avatar
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2 votes
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What sounds could humanoids with no teeth produce?

Relatively few sounds actually require the teeth. All dental, labiodental, and interdental sounds do, because the teeth are actually involved in the articulation. But most of the others don't. Out of ...
Draconis's user avatar
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1 vote

Considering that my elves are anatomically different from humans, what sorts of phonemes, vowels and consonants could they be capable of speaking?

It's worth thinking a bit about how the IPA table is divided and the motions underlying these sounds (i.e. gestural phonology). We have places of articulation, and manners of articulation. If your ...
Tristan's user avatar
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1 vote

Considering that my elves are anatomically different from humans, what sorts of phonemes, vowels and consonants could they be capable of speaking?

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 ...
Oliver Mason's user avatar
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