Does Getting Your Tongue Split Affect Your Speech?

The idea of getting your tongue split, or bifurcated, has been around for centuries and is often associated with various cultural and spiritual practices. However, in recent years, tongue splitting has become a popular body modification trend, particularly among those interested in body art and self-expression. One of the primary concerns people have when considering tongue splitting is how it might affect their speech.

Speech Adaptation After Tongue Splitting

According to a case study published in the journal Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics, a participant who had performed a self-inflicted cosmetic tongue split underwent an articulation test, a tongue motility assessment, and an ultrasound examination. The study found that while the participant’s tongue motility was mildly reduced due to tissue scarring, their speech was rated as highly intelligible and acceptable by four raters, with only slight distortions of the sibilants /s/ and /z/ noticed by two raters.

The ultrasound examination revealed that the synergy of the two sides of the tongue was preserved, and the participant compensated for the tongue split with increased medio-lateral compression of the two sides of the tongue. The study concluded that the tongue split procedure did not significantly affect the participant’s speech intelligibility and tongue motility.

Anecdotal Evidence from the Body Modification Community

In addition to the case study, anecdotal evidence from individuals who have undergone tongue splitting suggests that while there may be some initial difficulties with speech, most people adapt quickly and regain normal speech patterns within a few weeks to a few months.

One Reddit user shared their experience, stating that they had a mild lisp after the stitches came out and for a few weeks after, but it was not severe enough to affect how well people understood them. They also mentioned that the lisp returned briefly as their tongue healed further, around three to four months after the procedure, but it was very mild and not noticeable to anyone but themselves.

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Another user reported that it took them about a week and a half to two weeks to get back to 99% of their normal speech, with only occasional lisping when drunk or tired, six months after the procedure.

These anecdotal accounts suggest that while tongue splitting may temporarily affect speech, most people are able to adapt and regain normal speech patterns with time and practice.

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