Thursday, July 03, 2008

Foreign Accent Syndrome

Foreign Accent Syndrome is a rare condition that can occur after brain injury. With this condition, a patient speaks the same language, but with a different regional accent (for example, a person from the American midwest may adopt a British accent). Recently at McMaster University, and published in the Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences [press release] a Canadian case was reported. In this instance, a woman from Southern Ontario suffered a stroke and began speaking with a Newfoundland accent, which continues even two years after the original brain injury:
"Rosemary's speech is perfectly clear, unlike most stroke victims who have damage to speech-motor areas of the brain," says Humphreys. "You wouldn't guess that the speech changes are the result of a stroke. Most people meeting her for the first time assume she is from out East. What we are seeing in this case is a change in some of the very precise mechanisms of speech-motor planning in the brain's circuitry."


Anonymous said...

there's a newfie joke to be made there somewhere

Anonymous said...

Perhaps about causation. Does brain injury underlie all newfie accents?