Foreign Accent Syndrome

Foreign accent syndrome is a disorder which is associated with adaptation of foreign speech patterns which are very different from their normal accent. The accent developed is commonly not associated with their place of origin. In most cases, the disorder is associated with serious injuries to the brain such as stroke and head traumas as well as in cases where the brain injuries result to a coma.

In other cases, the disorder can result from prolonged issues with the brain development of the victims. The aim of this essay is to discuss the foreign accent syndrome as well as the symptoms, its diagnosis and treatment as well as the known cases surrounding the disorder. There have been very many cases associated with the condition all over the world.

One very well known is that associated with Astrid L. who was part of a shrapnel squad which was conducting an air-raid in the year 1941. She had suffered a very serious head injury whereby a surgery had to be conducted in order to save her life. As a result, she fell into a coma. The Norwegian young woman woke up from the coma with different patterns of speech. Her neurologist first realized the patterns in the year 1919 (Stehling, 2012). The doctor then reported the case in a Czech related study which was being conducted at the time.

According to the doctor, the victim had adapted a German accent. It was very difficult for her to associate with her fellow Norwegians since they could not understand the situation. More so, these two nations were not in good relations and as a result, the Norwegians decided to shun her due to her condition. The Norwegians did not understand that the condition resulted from the head injury she had suffered and that the accent does not get any fluent with time after it is acquired (Perkins & Ryalls, 2015).

Some of the signs and symptoms associated with FAS are like speaking their native language with a different accent. It has been identified through research that there are specific parts of the brain which are affected. The affected parts of the brain are associated with controlling with individuals linguistics. The damage in most cases can alter different speech patterns in addition to the adaptation of foreign accents.

The brain damage could also result to elevated pitch when speaking as well as syllables which are not pronounced as they should be. In other cases, there are also possibilities of the listener being the one possessing the foreign accent problem through their listening pattern (Stehling, 2012). Most people assume that the victims of FAS speak without any difficulties.

The truth of the matter is that the victims experience a lot of difficulties especially with their self-esteem. The victims suppose that they have speech disorders which prevent them from properly communicating with those around them. As such they can suffer withdrawal and isolation problems. They also suffer a lot of stress and depression. In general, FAS affects the victims negatively especially the individual aspect and their relationships with the society they live in just like the Norwegian woman was shunned by her fellow colleagues (Perkins & Ryalls, 2015).

In a nutshell, FAS, is a brain disorder which affects the part of the brain that controls the linguistics of the individual. It results from severe brain damage whereby the damage could cause conditions like distorted syllables and raised pitch during speech in addition to FAS. The essay has successfully discussed the case of a Norwegian woman who was a victim of brain damage where she fell into a coma and on waking up, she had adapted an accent of the German language. FAS affects the personality of the victim by lowering their self-esteem and also affecting their social interaction capabilities since they cannot properly communicate. Victims of FAS should thereby be treated with a lot of compassion and care in order for them to appreciate their conditions and learn to live with it probably through perfecting it.

References

Perkins,В R., & Ryalls,В J. (2015). Vowels in Foreign Accent Syndrome.В Handbook of Vowels and Vowel Disorders. doi:10.4324/9780203103890.ch13

Ryalls,В J., & Miller,В N. (2014).В Foreign Accent Syndromes: The stories people have to tell. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis.

Stehling,В D. (2012).В Foreign Accent Syndrome (FAS): The Speech Characteristics of Foreign Accent Syndrome. Munich: GRIN Verlag GmbH.

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