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Can a person whistle with no tongue?

mmu1

First Post
BrooklynKnight said:
That depends on where exactly IN the nose the nerve endings that recognize smell are...

When you have a clogged nose, you cant smell anything, which leads me to belive that the nerve endings which recognize smell are deeper in the nasal cavity. If they are far back enough that they are in your skull, and not in the cartilage that makes the nose, then yes, you could smell without a nose.

The nerve endings in question are actually technically extensions of the brain that dangle into the nasal cavity through the sieve-like sphenoid bone located at (roughly) the same level as the bridge of your nose, and well away from the cartilage that protrudes from the face. Which is probably one of the reasons for the often-repeated myth that it's possible to kill someone by pushing his nasal bones up into his brain...
 

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d20Dwarf

Explorer
My first 3e character was a mute rogue/monk with scars and a curse that made him look like a harlequin. Just thought I"d share... :)
 

LightPhoenix

First Post
One thing I'd caution about a mute character is that it can get really annoying, really fast, especially in trying to communicate with other players. Especially from the other players' point of view. It can definitely work, but I think if I were thinking about playing a character who was mute, I would ask the other players what they thought of it ahead of time.

Also, from a DM perspective, I'd allow you to talk aloud to the other players if everyone picked up a rank in Speak Language (Sign). Though "Speak" isn't quite the right word...
 

LightPhoenix said:
One thing I'd caution about a mute character is that it can get really annoying, really fast

I'll second that. My friend thought having a mute character was cool for like two weeks. Then he got really frustrated not being able to talk to anyone and made all of the other characters learn his sign language.

That depends. How often does he shower?

Hitler: My dog has no nose!
Nazi partisans: How does he smell?
Hitler: Awful.
 

AuroraGyps

First Post
LightPhoenix said:
One thing I'd caution about a mute character is that it can get really annoying, really fast, especially in trying to communicate with other players. Especially from the other players' point of view. It can definitely work, but I think if I were thinking about playing a character who was mute, I would ask the other players what they thought of it ahead of time.

Also, from a DM perspective, I'd allow you to talk aloud to the other players if everyone picked up a rank in Speak Language (Sign). Though "Speak" isn't quite the right word...

That's why I wanted to know about the whistling. That way, I'd at least have a list of single words I could say as a player that would translate into a whistle for the PC. It'd be annoying to have to keep saying, "My character whistles yes... I whistle stop... I whistle.....". I could just say "yes', "no", etc. I'd also have simple hand gestures that everyone would be able to understand.
I think of this as an exercise in roleplaying.
 
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Tonguez

Legend
If I was your DM I'd just say yeah you can whistle (perhaps there is enough of a stump left to modulate the sound) and go with the 'one word' conversation thing
- ie if you think its fun then do it

As to smell - I've got an Aunt who has no sense of smell (she lost it after some infection or something) and it is a legitimate disability. Smell is more important than most people assume, she can't detect leaking gas, 'off' food and a variety of over things.
 

Plane Sailing

Astral Admin - Mwahahaha!
This might be interesting:

http://www.lgib.gov.uk/news/story.html?newsId=1123

Residents on the Canary Island of La Gomera will soon be whistling while they work after the local council revived Silbo Gomero, a language that’s whistled rather than spoken. Children in the island’s elementary schools are being taught the Silbo technique in an effort to keep the ancient language alive.

Believed to originate from early African settlers 2,500 years ago, the language features four ‘vowels’ and four ‘consonants’ which are strung together to form more than 4,000 words. When ‘spoken’, the language sounds, appropriately for the Canary Islands, like birdsong.

For centuries, Silbo was used by the local people to communicate across La Gomera’s mountainous terrain, but the arrival of the telephone meant the island’s 19,000 inhabitants no longer need to use it. However, Juan Cabello, a recognised ‘silbador’ (pictured) still finds it has its uses. “I use it to call to my wife, to tell my kids something, to find a friend if we get lost in a crowd,” he told CNN.

Its few remaining practitioners also provide popular demonstrations for the island’s growing number of tourists, something which the local council wants to encourage as well as retaining the island’s cultural heritage.


Cheers
 

diaglo

Adventurer
Piratecat said:
The title of this thread made me wonder: can a person smell with no nose?


are their taste buds still active?

as for the thread title. think about a reed. get a slender piece of grass or similar object to create the reed if you don't have a tongue.
 

Djeta Thernadier

First Post
Whistle? Not well , probably , but you should be able to mumble incoherantly. Maybe you could come up with a series of mumbles, grunts etc. that would be her language.

I like the idea of her having an animal too, like the raven. Maybe she could have a parrot. Of course, if you wanted to get scientific, mimicing birds only do just that - they mimic. They do not fully comprehend what they are saying - that could get her into trouble, and you'd obviously not have been the one who taught the bird to speak. But if she were a spellcaster and it were a familiar, maybe that would be different.

I think you're going to find that her most easy way to communicate is through sign language, gestures etc.

Cool character concept. :)
 

Raging Epistaxis

First Post
Djeta Thernadier said:
Of course, if you wanted to get scientific, mimicing birds only do just that - they mimic. They do not fully comprehend what they are saying -... But if she were a spellcaster and it were a familiar, maybe that would be different.

<thread hijack>
I agree that even the most gifted communicators amongst animals have a fairly limited grasp of what they are hearing and saying, but the ability of some animals to spontaneously construct context appropriate communications gives some pause to dismissing the potential for communication (and intelligence) as purely mimicing.

While the vast majority of animals do not show much ability towards the comprehension of human languages (including sign language) there is growing evidence to the contrary, at least as potential.

Perhaps the two most famous examples of animals who are able to communicate on a basic verbal (or signed) level are Alex the African Grey and Koko the Gorilla.

Even dismissing them as the exception, there are thousands of parrots, dogs and even cats who have been witnessed or documented showing a suprising ability to problem-solve and communicate, if in non-verbal and somatic ways.

Personally and professionally, I think it's not so much that animals are limited in communication with humans by any lack of intelligence, as they are by the lack of any common language with us. I think it would be alternately fascinating and horrifying if we suddenly developed a method of universal communication with the animals we come in contact with daily. But I digress.

</Thread Hijack - with apologies if anyone is offended>

So, what does this have to do with the ability of a tongue amputee to whistle? Very little. My thoughts are that it would be exceedingly difficult to whistle if you had no tongue at all, but who says that the whole thing got cut off? A sufficient base would allow for some frequency and pulse modulation.

I think the simple answer if you go the animal helper route is a familiar or awakened animal - then there is no problem with the helper communicating with the PC, only potentially the other players.

But since we are talking about a fantasy game, why an animal helper? there are plenty of other creatures/monsters who are small but humanoid enough to speak - how about a diminutive imp? or pixie/fairy type creature? I'm sure there are plenty more to choose from.

R E, DVM
 
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