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Theory: Language and Facial Form  

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Apollo
(@apollo)
Honorable Member

It occurred to me that different languages might encourage better lingual posture. The best example I could think of are Khoisan and other languages with click consonants that seem to involve repeatedly making that suction hold motion with the tongue. This guy (  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6WO5XabD-s ) for example seems to have nice facial form. I imagine the process of children learning how to speak in these languages might make it more intuitive for them to maintain proper oral posture during their developmental years. I suspect voicing phonemes from other languages could have similar benefits. Maybe languages with gutteral sounds like Hebrew might be beneficial for control of the posterior 1/3 of the tongue. What do you think?

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Posted : 12/01/2018 11:29 pm
Progress
(@progress)
Member Moderator

Ha. Of course it's 2018, if you are not learning Hebrew in order to optimize your mewing technique, you are basically wasting your time.

How a tongue is used in daily speech may have some minor influence towards non-conscious maintenance of tongue posture in sub-ideal conditions. However, it's good to remember that proper posture is a default state, not a goal that should be needed to strive for. Tribesmen tend to inevitably learn the correct way of using their body for the same reason wild animals do: they are living in an environment they evolved to live in. Everything about their way of living supports ideal function and wellbeing. It's only in the civilized society where we sit on chairs, move insufficiently and are not in touch with the subleties of our body that tongue posture gets compromised.

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Posted : 13/01/2018 7:53 am Apollo liked
Apollo
(@apollo)
Honorable Member

Yeah, I'm not suggesting that learning another language would be an efficient way for adults to improve their oral posture, and I don't really have any idea which languages might be advantageous. However, I do think that the language you learned to speak as a child could have some (probably minor) influence on your facial features. If we compare French faces to Germans, for example, are the differences all genetic, or might some of them be influenced by cultural facial expressions or speech mechanics? In some cases, those who learn a foreign language as an adult are never able to master proper pronunciation because our mouths are unaccustomed to producing the motions for different phonemes. If those motions happen to be beneficial for facial development, it seems reasonable to me that they might have an advantage engaging those muscles during their developmental years. It's really just something I found interesting to think about, with little applicable value.

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Posted : 13/01/2018 2:18 pm
Gregory
(@gjenopp)
Trusted Member

Yes. Yes. Yes.

it is plausible, nay arguably inevitable that some languages will train the face more than others. Either because the syntax/ structure of the speech makes it so, or perhaps because the arrangement of letters vowels consonants and the movements necessary to execute the speech makes it so.

Maybe the repetition of sounds itself acts as a Myofunctional therapy at the (linguistic, ethnic, regional) scale. 

Consider different ways of saying hello — Hello (English), Hallo (German), Bonjour! (French), Konichiwa (Japanese), ‘Anyoung haseyo’ (Korean), Ola (Portuguese)

some are more involved than others and the movements are quite varied. 

then extrapolate that to whole language  

Posture and function are interlinked? Our muscular habits dictate growth?

 People are more affected by nurture than nature, in my opinion. Also, I’d argue that Is the whole philosophy orthotropics hinges upon  

if speech is a function, then the posture would presumably be affected by that.  

If you look at those depictions of “beauty ideals of each ethnicity/country” there will be some similarities sur yet slight variations.  Or look composites of people from specific regions. I think this gives further credence to the environmental factors 

Arguably that could be a sociological indicator of the correlation between environmental impact of language and facial form. 

Another idea that springs from this: Perhaps just having conversations with people is a minor form of Myofunctional therapy. Perhaps a new habit/rule for those interested in improving their posture and face need to have a minimum amount of conversations or verbal communication each day?

Dr Mew does reject/doubt the nutritional argument re: cause of malocclusion. 

I say it is our habits. And yes speech is a powerful habit. 

Done. 

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Posted : 13/01/2018 3:05 pm Apollo liked
Progress
(@progress)
Member Moderator

Apollo: It is true that achieving fluency in a spoken langauge is easier as a child. The reason is the same as for why learning an instrument as an adult with no musical background is much harder than it is for a young child: children simply are superior learners. However, as there are only so many convenient ways to produce unique phonemes, the muscles involved in producing speech tend to be invariably the same in the vast majority of languages. Only the fine details of the muscle-specific movements change. Considering how facial development:

1. is more dependent on static long-term force (tongue posture) than short bursts of force (eg. consonants)

2. happens mainly through pre-determined sutures

it is hard to see how the phonemic variation among populations of the world could lead to significant differences in facial form. All of its possible significance is easily offset by the culturally encouraged / disencouraged level of physical activity in childhood.

***

Gregory: Your point of view is that speech itself could act as a form of of myofunctional therapy. Following this path of reasoning, it seems reasonable to assume then that there is an evident correlation between individuals who talk a lot and those who have good posture and great facial form. I don't think this is the case. Acceptable speech can be produced in just about any kind of anatomically deficient posture. Mindful blabbering will not save you from the postural damage caused by excessive sitting and lack of wholesome exercise, and those who DO maintain sufficient level of postural fitness (even the mutes) will inevitably find their tongue correctly on the roof of the mouth with no additional effort needed.

***

Regarding geographical differences in average facial form, what you both are observing is differing phenotypes, which can be thought of as sub-races/ethnicities. A West-European phenotype composite will not look like an East-European phenotype composite, no matter how similar the lifestyle factors between the regions are made. Proper posture allows the normal expression of the features of the inherited biology, it will not transform the individual into some kind of universal ideal type (although the average proportions of any ethnic group certainly tend to be mathematically predictable through natural laws of harmony such as the golden ratio).

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Posted : 13/01/2018 4:23 pm
Gregory
(@gjenopp)
Trusted Member

Progress:

Fair enough on your rebuttal. I see where you are coming from!

I hope you'll accept my re-treading of this idea into the idea that...
where I was coming from was the idea that ... like how Dr. Mew informs us that part of proper posture is that by repetition it becomes a conditioned response.  So through his videos, he asserts that the micro-swallow/mew-push swallow over time will reinforce and create a conditioned response to maintain proper posture.

in the same way 'that you know automatically to hit the brakes if someone walks in front of your car' or however he puts it. He says, hey -- everytime you see a door, or touch a door handle -- swallow. and over time you can train your mind to do it unconsciously which is part of the important work of changing posture for good.

Now i maintain that certain languages may have more natural/unintentional myofunctional applications than others.
However,

the route i wish to take given your reply, is that I believe that certain languages... if their function causes a person to utilize proper posture,

(in the same way that Dr. John Mew says the way to touch the spot/tongue to the palate to the roof of the mouth is to say the letter N. Just springboarding off that one idea by itself -- perhaps languages that utilize the letter N have a higher likelihood of creating or reinforcing conditioned posture)
then over time they make condition their bodies to adhere to proper posture more likely than other languages would or could.  Especially in the modern world in which our environmental norm is so much outside the anthropoligical whatever whatever that we are being encouraged to return to.

Proper posture is more important than speech for development, but I maintain it is plausible that speech (or the mechanism by which that language operates off of) can be vital for reinforcing the correct posture.

I maintain it, sir!

Addendum:
tinfoil hat time:

Regardless of whether or not that concept listed above is credible or true -- I am playing with the idea if there is an unonscious mechanism that our brains [knowing what is best for our evolution/development/optimal functioning] are built to conceptualize and create language so as to create the correct posture.
In short, what if all the spoken languages in the world designed itself so as to ensure that our bodies, minds, and skulls developed in the correct way?

But how is that possible??

In the same way that it is said that our bodies are far more amazing than we give it credit for. That our bodies and our minds will do whatever it takes for us to survive.  That it is postulated that the reason men's physical developments strengthwise is so rapid , despite it contradicting everything that bodybuilding theorycrafting dictates, is because the body and unconscious mind knows that said person is in danger and defies the laws of nature (exaggeration) in order to cause that person to become strong enough to survive. Does that make sense? The body knows it is in a dangerous situation, and forces the body to adapt no matter what.  Thereby growing rapidly in a way that defies conventional medical science which cannot be explained by things like 'inmates get jacked just because its the only thing they have to do with their time.' No. Rest is still necessary. Yet these inmates are in constant breakdown and they shouldnt be growing stronger in the way they do. (This is adapted from another person's theory on this. More his words than mine.) People lift cars in times of need for survival, or if on the correct drugs.  Some believe in the stories of the Wim Hof method in order to counteract hypothermic conditions out of a will to survive, alone.  Etc.  There is credence to the idea that the body and mind can do amazing things together if it is convinced it is in our best interests.

I'd be interested if the formation ORIGINAL FORMATION of all language taps into a collective unconscious or personal unconscious which then designs itself so as to reinforce or teach proper posture because the brain understands on a level beyond our conscious wisdom that the repetition of *those* sounds and movements will give us the greatest chance of survival/prosperity.

Tinfoil hat off.

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Posted : 13/01/2018 4:45 pm Apollo liked
Gregory
(@gjenopp)
Trusted Member

In addition; 

another argument in this realm of thought Is

according to Myofunctional therapists, there are two areas in our mouth that stimulate important nerves. 

One nerve is stimulated by your tongue when it presses against the SPOT. 

The other is the vagus nerve which is, supposedly activated by your posterior third of the tongue being up against the roof of your tongue. 

 

I wasn’t told the name of this study, but there is a case of a woman with Parkinson’s improving her mobility and motor function after stimulating the spot for 3 months. Tested on day 1 and then 3 months later. Remarkable difference :

another regarding the spot — was apparently anothe elderly woman was asked to stimulate the spot manually with her thumb, and the differences in her were observed. 

 

Re the vagus nerve. I know there is a surgical implant designed to send signals and stimulate the vagus nerve for sufferers of epilepsy or seizures or something like that. 

Vagus nerve stimulation is also associated with oxytocin and neurochemical release/production.

It is plausible that there is a biological mechanism in play which reinforces proper tongue position through the release of oxytocin via vagus nerve stimulation through the tongue position. Is that not plausible? Through a biological reward circuitry.

then my next argument is that different languages and speech will trigger this reward system more often than others.

Hello vs anyeong haseo. What movements are involved? Will one language over time stimulate the reward circuitry more often?

Now fair counterpoint is that vagus stimulation might be rare in conversation — I wouldn’t know , I’m fucking tongue tied.

The reward system of these nerves conditioning proper posture. The language conditioning stimulation of these nerves.

then to 

language/speech conditioning proper posture.

The proper tongue posture and tongue being influenced by the day to say habits including speech. 

More or less that is my curiosity. I’m stopping there for now.

I’ve no sources for those claimed studies. 

Done. 

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Posted : 13/01/2018 5:31 pm Apollo liked
Apollo
(@apollo)
Honorable Member

Maybe you're right Progress. I definitely respect your experience, but I'm not sure how you can make such definitive statements about any of this. Aren't we all still trying to figure out what influences craniofacial dystrophy based on personal experience, expert opinion, and anecdotal evidence? I don't think there are any randomized control trials teaching twins different languages from birth and monitoring for changes in facial development. I have seen studies showing infants lose the ability to distinguish certain speech sounds as early as six months based on the language they are exposed to, before they even say their first word. So, much of the difficulty for adults in producing non-native phonemes is receptively distinguishing the difference between the sounds they want to produce rather than expressively producing the sounds with their mouths. It's not just that the kids are better learners. When we teach kids English as a second language, we often use tongue twisters to help them master the mouth shapes required to pronounce English words. As Gregory pointed out, Dr. Mew says that form follows function, and language seems to be a functional, habitual behavior. A couple push swallows doesn't reverse a lifetime of suckling your food, but over time this change has an impact. Of course saying a few words doesn't change the structure of your face or a growing child's face, but it seems to me our whole philosophy is that our oral posture impacts our facial form, and I'm just extrapolating a little to say that differences in language or culturally-specific facial expressions might have some small influence on oral posture over the course of our developmental years, which are generally overshadowed by issues such as mouth breathing, suckle swallowing, etc. However, all other factors being equal, maybe the impact is perceptible. Intuitively, it just seems to me that if I had been producing a sound like the click consonant that required me to get that posterior part of my tongue up flush against my palate, hundreds or thousands of times a day, it would probably be more natural for me as adult to keep that part of my tongue seated in that position. However, I think we have to accept the ambiguity that questions like this don't have a demonstrable answer.

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Posted : 13/01/2018 5:51 pm Gregory liked
Progress
(@progress)
Member Moderator

Gregory I agree with some of the theories you brought forward, but since the messages are getting so long and dissecting posts into separately quoted paragraphs is so painstaking on this forum, I too will disengage from this conversation. It was entertaining to learn about your point of view.

 

Same goes for you Apollo. It is good to have people around who do not shy away from theoretizing about concepts that are a little out there. 

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Posted : 13/01/2018 5:59 pm Apollo and Gregory liked
Gregory
(@gjenopp)
Trusted Member
Re: Gregory I agree with some of the theories you brought forward, but since the messages are getting so long and dissecting posts into separately quoted paragraphs is so painstaking on this forum, I too will disengage from this conversation. It was entertaining to learn about your point of view.

Same goes for you Apollo. It is good to have people around who do not shy away from theoretizing about concepts that are a little out there. 

Fair! I mean I enjoyed writing about it, _Progress,
and appreciate that you brought it up, Apollo!

Nevertheless, I gotta admit that talking about it doesn't quite hold the same practical discussion that the community is interested in.  I realized that the same amount of time discussing mewing technique or other postural tips may be better.
Still, appreciated the musing, but now I'm back onto the mewing.

 

Disengaging.

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Posted : 13/01/2018 6:59 pm Apollo liked
Apollo
(@apollo)
Honorable Member

Thanks for the interesting discussion Gregory and Progress!

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Posted : 13/01/2018 9:02 pm
TGW
 TGW
(@admin)
TGW Admin Admin
Posted by: Progress

dissecting posts into separately quoted paragraphs is so painstaking on this forum

I'll see if I can fix this somehow. 

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Posted : 17/01/2018 8:14 pm
Progress
(@progress)
Member Moderator
Posted by: TGW
Posted by: Progress

dissecting posts into separately quoted paragraphs is so painstaking on this forum

I'll see if I can fix this somehow. 

That would be great

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Posted : 18/01/2018 1:57 am
Apollo
(@apollo)
Honorable Member

Here's an article supporting this theory published in the journal Phonetica:

https://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/84159

Language-Specific Articulatory Settings: Evidence from Inter-Utterance Rest Position

Gick B.a, b · Wilson I.a · Koch K.a · Cook C.a

The possible existence of language-specific articulatory settings (underlying or default articulator positions) has long been discussed, but these have proven elusive to direct measurement. This paper presents two experiments using X-ray data of 5 English and 5 French subjects linking articulatory setting to speech rest position, which is measurable without segmental interference. Results of the first experiment show that speech rest position is significantly different across languages at 5 measurement locations in the vocal tract, and is similar to previously described language-specific articulatory settings. The second experiment shows that the accuracy of achievement of speech rest position is similar to that of a specified vowel target (/i/). These results have implications for the phonetics and phonology of neutral vowels, segmental nventories, and L2 acquisition.

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Posted : 21/05/2018 3:04 pm
EddieMoney
(@eddiemoney)
Honorable Member

Eh. I don't know if I buy it. It's not like New Yorkers of Italian descent all lf a sudden stop looking like their ancestors just because they stopped speaking Italian. I actually look more like my ancestors now after adopting proper posture and I don't speak the language they did (not even a language in the same family). So this is one I don't think is significant.

Truth is, all countries have people with ideal and unideal facial development. And within each country you have both long faced and short faced phenotypes, and both speak the same language. What I think is more ideal for development is whether certain populations have a high amount of physical activity  

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Posted : 21/05/2018 4:15 pm
Greensmoothies
(@greensmoothies)
Estimable Member
Posted by: Gregory

In addition; 

another argument in this realm of thought Is

according to Myofunctional therapists, there are two areas in our mouth that stimulate important nerves. 

One nerve is stimulated by your tongue when it presses against the SPOT. 

The other is the vagus nerve which is, supposedly activated by your posterior third of the tongue being up against the roof of your tongue. 

 

I wasn’t told the name of this study, but there is a case of a woman with Parkinson’s improving her mobility and motor function after stimulating the spot for 3 months. Tested on day 1 and then 3 months later. Remarkable difference :

another regarding the spot — was apparently anothe elderly woman was asked to stimulate the spot manually with her thumb, and the differences in her were observed. 

 

Re the vagus nerve. I know there is a surgical implant designed to send signals and stimulate the vagus nerve for sufferers of epilepsy or seizures or something like that. 

Vagus nerve stimulation is also associated with oxytocin and neurochemical release/production.

It is plausible that there is a biological mechanism in play which reinforces proper tongue position through the release of oxytocin via vagus nerve stimulation through the tongue position. Is that not plausible? Through a biological reward circuitry.

then my next argument is that different languages and speech will trigger this reward system more often than others.

Hello vs anyeong haseo. What movements are involved? Will one language over time stimulate the reward circuitry more often?

Now fair counterpoint is that vagus stimulation might be rare in conversation — I wouldn’t know , I’m fucking tongue tied.

The reward system of these nerves conditioning proper posture. The language conditioning stimulation of these nerves.

then to 

language/speech conditioning proper posture.

The proper tongue posture and tongue being influenced by the day to say habits including speech. 

More or less that is my curiosity. I’m stopping there for now.

I’ve no sources for those claimed studies. 

Done. 

During a breastfeeding session, the child will have their posterior third rhymically pressed with the tongue, with oxytocin and other neurotransmitters elevating for the child and mom as well.

I noticed my daughter had her tongue resting on the roof of her mouth at nearly all times at around one years old, but she wasn't speaking much of a language other than mainly baby babble at that point with some dozen English words infrequently peppered in here and there, nor was she even walking until nearly 14mo. I believe it's mainly breastfeeding that set up a chain of events that culminate in effortless perfect posture, lending toward increased physical activity, resulting in a kind of positive feedback loop that helps to protect the ideal development even perhaps in the face of various environmental insults (allergies, injuries, various modern-day insults [eg too much sitting, motor vehicle accidents, food too soft etc] etc)

But I wonder if it could be useful to mimic some unique effect of language with exercises to vibrate your lips and tongue. Like babies do with "raspberries" as I believe they're called. Clicking will produce a strong and short vibration. Rolling R, etc. Vibration and the sounds produced, I have heard as per eastern ideas of bone development, promote bone growth. And then vibration is linked to bone growth with those vibration plates used for weight loss and osteoporosis. Eventual results could be stronger and more functional lips and tongue, perhaps encouraging teeth to move, and aiding palate suture separation.

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Posted : 21/05/2018 5:52 pm Apollo liked
Apollo
(@apollo)
Honorable Member
Posted by: Greensmoothies
 
But I wonder if it could be useful to mimic some unique effect of language with exercises to vibrate your lips and tongue. Like babies do with "raspberries" as I believe they're called. Clicking will produce a strong and short vibration. Rolling R, etc. Vibration and the sounds produced, I have heard as per eastern ideas of bone development, promote bone growth. And then vibration is linked to bone growth with those vibration plates used for weight loss and osteoporosis. Eventual results could be stronger and more functional lips and tongue, perhaps encouraging teeth to move, and aiding palate suture separation.
I think vocalizations might be one way to incorporate vibration as discussed in this thread: https://the-great-work.org/community/main-forum/extracorporeal-shock-wave-therapy/#post-971

"Om" chanting is supposed to stimulate the vagus nerve, encouraging a parasympathetic state that some have suggested is necessary for relaxation and separation of cranial sutures.

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Posted : 21/05/2018 6:00 pm Greensmoothies liked
andread24
(@andread24)
Active Member

on the same subject, mewing for 5+ months induced a noticeable speech impediment.

Now the "gl" sound in the italian word "maglione" (sweater), when i pronounce it sounds just like "maione"

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPdhG0rV3uI

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Posted : 22/05/2018 6:26 am
Sclera
(@sclera)
Estimable Member

@andread24 This might have to do with needing to retrain your tongue if you're not used to the changes in the muscle and maxilla upswing. I have also noticed a change in my accent, but I consider it an improvement instead of impediment. My vowels have become less round, and the sound feels like it's closer to my lips instead of my throat, if that makes any sense. But I now need to make a conscious effort to create sharp consonants, but it's becoming easier the more I do it.

This has begun since I've started focusing on tongue exercises. I never knew how weak my tongue was until I started strengthening it, and noticing how it's changed the way I talk. I'm needing to constantly adjust as my mouth changes.

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Posted : 22/05/2018 12:38 pm
Avraks
(@avraks)
Active Member

Sorry for being a necromancer, but I've been wondering the same, Apollo, Makes sense, given that mewing works.

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Posted : 10/07/2018 4:34 pm
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As you undergo correction in the near future, please consider keeping records for your own sake and for others. Pictures of dental impressions, scans, medical reports reports can be very helpful even with all personally identifying information blocked out.

Your input could help many, many people

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