In a fairly recent episode of SciShow, host Hank Green explains the physiology and the purpose of that little dangly thing at the back of the human throat called the palantine uvula.
the uvula is packed full of glands that can quickly make a large amounts of theme watery saliva. These glands are connected to muscle fibers that run through the uvula. Those muscles contract for example, while you’re speaking or swallowing, more saliva is released. The shape of the uvula helps it swing back and forth like a wet wrecking ball, spreading the saliva around and keeping the inside your mouth and throat well lubricated while you’re chatting and eating. The muscles inside the uvula are capable of rapid repetitive movements just what’s needed for complex speech and singing