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Illustration - Pterygoid muscles

Tongue muscles

Tongue muscles

Pronunciation

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Other Terms:
Muscles of tongue, Muscle group of tongue, Musculi linguae, Muscle de la langue


Description
The tongue muscles form two distinct groups — extrinsic muscles, whose fibers arise outside of the tongue and then converge into the substance of the tongue, and intrinsic muscles, whose fibers are completely within the tongue. Both groups develop from the occipital somites at the base of the developing cranium. The ventral motor roots from the brainstem–spinal cord transition enter these somites to form the hypoglossal nerve, which innervates all of the tongue muscles. In general, the extrinsic muscles modify the position of the tongue, while the intrinsic muscles modify its shape. Tongue muscles do not act in isolation, but in varied combinations to produce the wide array of intricate tongue motions. These motions are essential for the acquisition, manipulation, and swallowing of food, and also play important roles in molding the vocal sounds, produced by the larynx, into the words we speak.
Latin
Musculi linguae
French
Muscle de la langue

Structural Label Key