Discovering Da Vinci Daily: Day 27: Tongue Twister

 Not only did Leonardo sketch a highly detailed tongue he noted its possible movements, how it created sounds, the different vowels, and how it worked with the shapes of the lips.


"No member needs so great a number of muscles as the tongue,—twenty-four of these being already known apart from the others which I have discovered; and of all the members which are moved by voluntary action this exceeds all the rest in the number of its movements.
 And if you shall say that this is rather the function of the eye, which receives all the infinite varieties of form and colour of the objects set before it, and of the smell with its infinite mixture of odours, and of the ear with its sounds, we may reply that the tongue also perceives an infinite number of flavours both simple and compounded ; but this is not to our purpose, for our intention is to treat only of the particular movement of each member. Consider carefully how by the movement of the tongue, with the help of the lips and teeth, the pronunciation of all the names of things is known to us; and how, by means of this instrument, the simple and compound words of a language arrive at our ears; and how these, if there were a name for all the effects of nature, would approach infinity in number, together with all the countless things which are in action and in the power of nature; and these would not be expressed in one language only, but in a great number of languages, and these also would tend to infinite variety, because they vary continually from century to century."
 Discovering Da Vinci Daily: Day 27: Tongue Twister

The Tongue and Voice – c. 1508 – 1510 – 32.1 x 22.7cm – Royal Collection. U.K. List of Syllables with notes about the movements of the tongue and phonation.

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