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The palate () is the roof of the
mouth In animal anatomy Anatomy (Greek ''anatomē'', 'dissection') is the branch of biology concerned with the study of the structure of organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανισμός, ''organismos'') is ...

mouth
in humans and other
mammal Mammals (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republ ...
s. It separates the
oral cavity In animal anatomy, the mouth, also known as the oral cavity, buccal cavity, or in Latin cavum oris, is the opening through which many animals take in food and issue vocal sounds. It is also the cavity lying at the upper end of the alimentary cana ...
from the
nasal cavity The nasal cavity is a large, air-filled space above and behind the human nose, nose in the middle of the face. The nasal septum divides the cavity into two cavities, also known as fossae. Each cavity is the continuation of one of the two nostrils. ...

nasal cavity
. A similar structure is found in
crocodilian Crocodilia (or Crocodylia, both ) is an Order (biology), order of mostly large, predatory, List of semiaquatic tetrapods, semiaquatic reptiles, known as crocodilians. They first appeared 95 million years ago in the Late Cretaceous Period (g ...
s, but in most other
tetrapod Tetrapods (; ) are four-limbed animals constituting the superclass Tetrapoda (). It includes extant Extant is the opposite of the word extinct Extinction is the termination of a kind of organism or of a group of kinds (taxon), usually a sp ...
s, the oral and nasal cavities are not truly separated. The palate is divided into two parts, the anterior, bony
hard palate The hard palate is a thin horizontal bony plate made up of two bones of the facial skeleton The facial skeleton comprises the ''facial bones'' that may attach to build a portion of the skull The skull is a bone A bone is a Stiffness, ri ...
and the posterior, fleshy
soft palate The soft palate (also known as the velum, palatal velum, or muscular palate) is, in mammals, the soft biological tissue, tissue constituting the back of the roof of the mouth. The soft palate is part of the palate of the mouth; the other part is t ...
(or velum).


Structure


Innervation

The
maxillary nerve The maxillary nerve (V2) is one of the three branches or divisions of the trigeminal nerve The trigeminal nerve (the fifth cranial nerve, or simply CN V) is a nerve responsible for sensation in the face and motor functions such as biting and c ...

maxillary nerve
branch of the
trigeminal nerve The trigeminal nerve (the fifth cranial nerve, or simply CN V) is a nerve responsible for sensation in the face and motor functions such as biting and chewing; it is the most complex of the cranial nerves Cranial nerves are the nerve A ner ...

trigeminal nerve
supplies sensory innervation to the palate.


Development

The hard palate forms before birth.


Variation

If the fusion is incomplete, a
cleft palate A cleft lip contains an opening in the upper lip Lips are a visible body part at the mouth of many animals, including humans. Lips are soft, movable, and serve as the opening for food intake and in the articulation of sound and speech. Hu ...

cleft palate
results.


Function

When functioning in conjunction with other parts of the mouth, the palate produces certain sounds, particularly velar,
palatal The palate is the roof of the mouth in humans and other mammal Mammals (from Latin language, Latin , 'breast') are a group of vertebrate animals constituting the class (biology), class Mammalia (), and characterized by the presence of ma ...

palatal
, palatalized,
postalveolar Postalveolar or post-alveolar consonants are consonant In articulatory phonetics, a consonant is a speech sound that is articulated with complete or partial closure of the vocal tract. Examples are , pronounced with the lips; , pronounced with th ...

postalveolar
, alveolopalatal, and
uvular Uvulars are consonant In articulatory phonetics, a consonant is a speech sound that is articulated with complete or partial closure of the vocal tract. Examples are , pronounced with the lips; , pronounced with the front of the tongue; , pronounc ...
consonant In articulatory phonetics The field of articulatory phonetics is a subfield of phonetics Phonetics is a branch of linguistics that studies how humans produce and perceive sounds, or in the case of sign languages, the equivalent aspects of sig ...
s.


History


Etymology

The
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...
synonyms A synonym is a word, morpheme A morpheme is the smallest meaningful lexical item in a language. A morpheme is not a word. The difference between a morpheme and a word is that a morpheme bound and free morphemes, sometimes does not stand alone ...
palate and palatum, and also the related adjective palatine (as in
palatine bone In anatomy Anatomy (Greek ''anatomē'', 'dissection') is the branch of concerned with the study of the structure of s and their parts. Anatomy is a branch of natural science which deals with the structural organization of living things. It i ...

palatine bone
), are all from the
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became the dominant la ...

Latin
''palatum'' via
Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French French ( or ) is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, as did all Romance languages. French evolved from Gallo-Romance, the Latin spok ...
''palat'', words that like their English
derivatives Derivative may refer to: In mathematics and economics *Brzozowski derivative in the theory of formal languages *Derivative in calculus, a quantity indicating how a function changes when the values of its inputs change. *Formal derivative, an opera ...
, refer to the "roof" of the mouth. The Latin word ''palatum'' is of unknown (possibly
Etruscan__NOTOC__ Etruscan may refer to: Ancient civilisation *The Etruscan language, an extinct language in ancient Italy *Something derived from or related to the Etruscan civilization **Etruscan architecture **Etruscan art **Etruscan cities **Etruscan ...
) ultimate origin and served also as a source to the Latin word meaning palace, ''
palatium The Palatine Hill, (; la, Collis Palatium or Mons Palatinus; it, Palatino ) which is the centremost of the Seven Hills of Rome, is one of the most ancient parts of the city and has been called "the first nucleus of the Roman Empire." The s ...

palatium
'', from which other senses of
palatine A palatine or palatinus (in Latin; plural ''palatini''; cf. derivative spellings below) is a high-level official attached to imperial or royal courts in Europe since Roman Empire, Roman times.
and the English word palace derive, and not the other way round. As the roof of the mouth was once considered the seat of the sense of
taste The gustatory system or sense of taste is the sensory system The sensory nervous system is a part of the nervous system responsible for processing sensory information. A sensory system consists of sensory neurons (including the sensory re ...

taste
, palate can also refer to this sense itself, as in the phrase "a discriminating palate". By further extension, the flavor of a food (particularly beer or wine) may be called its palate, as when a wine is said to have an oaky palate.


See also

*
Language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is "an apparent answer to the painful divisions between self and other, private and public, and ...

Language
*
Vocal tract The vocal tract is the cavity in human bodies and in animals where the sound produced at the sound source (larynx The larynx (), commonly called the voice box, is an organ Organ may refer to: Biology * Organ (anatomy) An organ is a group ...
*
Pallet A pallet () (also called a skid) is a flat transport structure, which supports goods in a stable fashion while being lifted by a , a , a , a , or an erect crane. A pallet is the structural foundation of a , which allows handling and storage ...
,
palette Palette may refer to: * Cosmetic palette, an archaeological form * Palette, another name for a color scheme * Palette (painting), a wooden board used for mixing colors for a painting * Palette (company), a Japanese visual novel studio (video game c ...
and
pellet Pellets are small particles typically created by compressing an original material. Pellet or pellets may refer to: People * Alain Pellet (born 1947), French lawyer * Gustave Pellet (1859–1919), French publisher of art * Laurent Pellet (born 1970 ...
, objects whose names are homophonous with ''palate'' for many English-speakers *
PalatabilityPalatability is the Reward system, hedonic reward (i.e., pleasure) provided by foods or fluids that are agreeable to the "palate", which often varies relative to the homeostatic satisfaction of nutritional, Fluid balance, water, or Food energy, energ ...


Bibliography

* *


References

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