What do you call a person who cannot speak?

  • What do you call a person who cannot speak?

    I believe non-verbal is the PC term for mute.

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    Context is a bit necessary. There are many things you van call to a person who doesnt speak. Shy, introvert, reserved. You should know their back story before judging and labelling them. Some people get anxiety from speaking so bad, that they choose to not speak. Others are just people who think you’re not worth their time so they choose not to speak with you.

    If you are talking in a religious context, this person would be a Mauni. A person who is practicing Maun, the vow of not speaking.

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    Mutism, or mutists, is a broad term that refers to those who don’t speak whether it’s due to physical trauma, psychological disorders, any other form of disability, or by choice.

    Those who suffer from anxiety as a result of speaking around others are known as selective mutists.

    Those who choose not to speak are known as elective mutists.

    Anyone who doesn’t speak because they greatly dislike/hate/fear the sound of their voice could be said to have phonophobia (they’d be a phonophobist).

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    Anything you like, they won’t answer back.

    But I think there are a number of words you are looking for here. Those who won’t speak because they don’t feel like it are taciturn, or alternatively laconic.

    Those who won’t speak because they are under a vow of silence may be following praxis.

    Those who will not speak for fear of causing offence may be diplomatically silent, which can also be termed discreet.

    Those who will not speak on a particular subject are keeping confidentiality.

    Those who physically cannot speak are mute, or dumb (this word does not only mean stupid).

    And those who won’t speak to one particular person or group thereof, well that means they just don’t like you. I don’t think there’s a word for that.

    Being dumb. Not as an insult. That is the technical term.

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    Deaf vs Mute

    A person who cannot speak is called mute. It is possible that this person can hear very well, but he/she cannot speak without external intervention. Parents of mute children look normally for help to their mute children. They hire speech therapists, so their children can speak for instance English fluently.

    A person who cannot hear is called a deaf. Deaf people have special language called American sign language. Parents of deaf children can also learn American sign language to communicate easily with their children.

    Deaf and mute are different. It is possible that a mute child or person speaks with the help of child or adult speech therapists, but it is very difficult that a deaf child or person speaks normally even if he or she wears hearing aids. And that is why it is very important for deaf children and deaf adults to learn American sign language.

    Laryngitis

    Or a person can be born dumb, (The inability to talk) which means she will never speak with or to anyone.

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    First of all who is this ‘we’?

    Lets take all perspectives, straight into the obvious.

    1. Mute.
    2. Silent.
    3. Speechless.
    4. Quiet.
    5. Calm.

      Then lets go a slightly judgmental without actually knowing angle, yet holding true to 90% of the population and/or time.

    6. Weak.
    7. Meek.
    8. Cowardly.
    9. Shy.
    10. Yellow.

      Finally we move into the less traveled waters of the wishful thinker than holds high respect to all. (Very few words for this one, which is hilarious in it’s own right. I struggle’d a lot here but I think the point is clear).

    11. Wise.
    12. Sage.
    13. Judicious.

      Thanks, Peace, DjL.

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    A person who can’t talk can learn sign language like the deaf do in order to communicate between one and another. You can call a relay operator who is hearing but does sign language and can do both, listen to a hearing person and translate into sign language to a person that can’t talk or hear but know sign language and vice versa.

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    I refer you to the excellent answer of Barbara Batholomew.

    Aphasia is the term which applies to a partial or total loss of the power of speech which is not due to defects in the peripheral organs but to disorder in some of the cerebral centres. It is also called alalia.

    From Greek: “a” (not) + “phanai” (speak), “a” (without) +”lalia” (talking)

    Aphasia is not an illness but a symptom of disease or injury to the brain. In the elderly it can accompany stroke and can affect a person’s ability not only to speak but also to read, write or understand what is being said to him.

    Speech therapy can help some persons who are afflicted to learn to speak again. In my home town, a choir encouraging stroke victims to join in community singing of well-known songs is proving very successful. I never underestimate the power of music.

    Its called mute. Many people have this disability and result to sign language which is interpreting by your hands and fingers.

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    Always be polite when referring to someone who is “differently abled”

    You can use the terms “speech disorder” or “mute”

    Note that people who have sensory deficits (one or two) have enhanced functioning of other sensory organs.

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