Foreign Accent Syndrome Essay

913 WordsDec 1, 20084 Pages
In 1941, a 30 year old Norwegian woman was hit on the head by a bomb fragment from German air raids. Although not severely injured, she did suffer a lesion between her frontal, temporal, and parietal areas of her brain. A lesion is usually described as a small wound, or change in structure to organs or tissues. With such a large lesion, it is a wonder she regained all motor control and function. However, one change was hard to ignore. In the middle of World War Two, this Norwegian woman, began speaking with a German accent. Shopkeepers denied her service, friends and neighbors alienated her, and she even lost her job because of her newly acclaimed accent. This woman was apologetic and began to think she was going crazy because she truly had no idea why this had happened. Today, after various other cases, specialists have determined this disorder to be Foreign Accent Syndrome. Many of you may be asking what Foreign Accent Syndrome is… well today, I am going to discuss what it is and its symptoms and then take a look at its various causes. Foreign Accent Syndrome’s first documented case was by Dr. Pick in 1919. He diagnosed a 26 year old Czech butcher who began sounding Polish after a suffering a stroke. According to a 2006 article in Aphasiology, it wasn’t until 1982 until it was first coined by Whitaker to refer to cases of acquired accent change following brain damage in adults. Foreign Accent Syndrome affects only a small number of people in the world, thus research has been slow on the disorder itself. In May of 1997, according to the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Volume 78, there had been thirteen studied cases since Pick’s in 1919 and between 1941 and 2006, there have only been fifty recorded cases, and not all were significantly studied. Foreign language syndrome is essentially when someone begins to sound as though they speak their
Open Document