How do we speak?
By Faisal Amjad

The wonder of the voice box

Published in: Science
Date: 29 / 03 / 17

Among the signs of Allah is that He created our different languages. (Qur’an 30:22) 

It is estimated that there are between 5,000 and 10,000 languages in the world, all spoken from the same voice box or larynx! The Qur’an mentions that Allah will show us signs within ourselves proving the truth of His being our Lord. (Qur’an 41:53) 

Among these signs is the wonder of the voice box.

The voice box is the part of the windpipe that opens to the mouth. Right at the entrance of the voice box are vocal chords. Thanks to the muscles that govern them, these chords assume different shapes and as a result, we make various sounds, including speech.

One reason why other living beings cannot make sounds like humans is that their voice boxes are located higher in the mouth cavity than in humans. In humans, thanks to this position, breathe from the lungs is transformed by the voice box into a variety of sounds. According to the theory of evolution, the best place for the voice box would be higher up in the mouth cavity, for the lower position means the food we eat can get into the windpipe and choke us, or liquids may get into the lungs. In order to prevent this, while we are eating or drinking a little tongue or uvula closes the voice box. The more advantageous structure would only result in incoherence.

Another miracle is that the voice boxes of babies are higher up than in adults. This way they can breathe while suckling, without running the risk of getting milk in the windpipes and lungs. Yet before infants gain the ability to speak, this voice box lowers itself in the throat. It develops in the right way just at the right time!

Faisal Amjad

About the author

A lifelong learner, avid reader and passionate writer, I am the founder of KNOW and a serial entrepreneur.
I am a huge believer in personal development and am also the co-founder of Muslim CEO.

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