Last night, I thought about my uvula. What is this fleshy thing that hangs so ball-like in the back of my mouth? Thanks to the interweb, here is what I now know about the uvula:
The uvula plays an important role in the articulation of the sound of the human voice to form the sounds of speech. It functions in tandem with the back of the throat, the palate, and air coming up from the lungs to create a number of guttural and other sounds. Consonants pronounced with the uvula are not found in English; however, languages such as Arabic, French, German, Hebrew, Ubykh, and Hmong use uvular consonants to varying degrees. Certain African languages use the uvula to produce click consonants as well. In English (as well as many other languages), it closes to prevent air escaping through the nose when making some sounds.
I must now go observe my uvula whilst making guttural sounds.
This is the kind of work I would like to find if I were a model... scantly clad, melancholy sittings on giant anatomical parts.