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I know the "religious" claims about so called "speaking in tongues" and I am not disputing or arguing that explanation one way of the other.

My question relates to the ability of most anyone to be able to string meaningless syllables together and almost sound like they are speaking another language.

What is the mechanism behind this?

(I have also noticed that anyone "speaking in tongues" whether religious or otherwise, only uses syllables from their own native language. Most languages have many sounds that are hard to duplicate in most other languages; the English versus European "R" sound, or the English versus Japanese "L" sound, for instance.)

In my experience, anyone can exhibit this phenomenon if they choose. My friends and I were able to do it as kids with no religious connotations.

How does this function work in the brain, please?

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I don't know the answer, but one term that may help you find more information is "glossolalia"--the technical term for speaking in tongues. –  Krysta May 20 '14 at 18:18

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