I have just referred to the "organs of speech," and it would seem at first blush that this is tantamount to an admission that speech itself is an instinctive, biologically predetermined activity. We must not be misled by the mere term. There are, properly speaking no organs of speech; there are only organs that are incidentally useful in the production of speech sounds. The lungs, the larnyx, the palate, the nose, the tongue, the teeth, the lips, are all so utilized, but they are no more to be thought of as primary organs of speech than are the fingers to be considered as essentially organs of piano-playing or the knees as organs of prayer. Speech is not a simple activity that is carried on by one or more organs biologically adpated to the purpose. It is an extremely complex and ever-shifting network of adjustments-in the brain, in the nervous system, and in the articulating and auditory organs-tending towards the desired end of communication.The lungs developed, roughly speaking, in connection with the necessary biological function known as breathing; the nose, as an organ of smell; the teeth, as organs useful in breaking up food before it was ready for digestion. If, then, these and other organs are being constantly utilized in speech, it is only because any organ, once existent and in so far as it is an overlaid function, or, to be more precise, a group of overlaid functions. It gets what service it can out of organs and functions, nervous and muscular, that have come into being and are maintained for very different ends than its own. Edward Sapir, Language: An Introduction to the Study of Speech, pp. 8-9 (1949 paperback ed.).

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