by Robert Krulwich/NPR
“Here’s something you should know about yourself. Vowels control your brain.
With these words, your tongue depresses and folds back a bit. So “O”, “A” and “U” are called “back” of the throat vowels.
OK, here’s the weird part.
When comparing words across language groups, says Stanford linguistics professor Dan Jurafsky, a curious pattern shows up: Words with front vowels (“I” and “E”) tend to represent small, thin, light things.
Back vowels (“O” “U” and some “A”s ) show up in fat, heavy things.”