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She Went To The Dentist And Acquired An Accent

 
 
firefly
 
Reply Fri 6 May, 2011 01:20 pm
Quote:

Woman Gets New Accent After Dentist Visit
Patient Awoke With Rare Foreign Accent Syndrome

May 6, 2011

TOLEDO, Ore. -- When most people leave the dentist's office, they're leaving with chapped, stretched lips and a bit of Novocain numbness. But one Oregon woman left her dentist's with an entirely new accent.

Karen Butler, of Toledo, Ore., said she went to the dentist for routine work and woke up speaking completely different than she had.

"I sounded more like I was from Transylvania," said Butler.

Butler said her new accent immediately started getting attention.

"You talk to young girls they think it's a very, very pretty sound. And they say, 'I want an accent like that,'" said Butler. "Oh, well just go see my dentist. He only charges $7,000."

Butler is one of a very small number of people suffering from what is known as foreign accent syndrome. There have been just 60 recorded cases since 1941.

There isn't anything Butler can do to get her old accent back -- she doesn't notice the change at all. The only way she can hear the mix of Irish brogue and Eastern European thickness is by listening to a recording.

Apart from a few surprised people at the end of a telephone call, Butler said her life is mostly the same. Her husband agrees.

"She still is her old American self. Just her voice has changed," said Glen Butler.
http://www.google.com/

Quote:
Foreign accent syndrome is a rare medical condition involving speech production that usually occurs as a side effect of severe brain injury, such as a stroke or head trauma. Two cases have been reported of individuals with the condition as a development problem and one associated with severe migraine. Between 1941 and 2009 there have been sixty recorded cases. Its symptoms result from distorted articulatory planning and coordination processes. It must be emphasized that the speaker does not suddenly gain a foreign language (vocabulary, syntax, grammar, etc.); they merely pronounce their native language with an accent that to listeners may be mistaken as foreign or dialectical. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_accent_syndrome



I don't know, if that happened to me, I think I'd be quite upset about it.

Butler's dental surgery took place 18 months ago and this is just now appearing in the media. I saw an interview with her on the news yesterday.

I'm inclined to think she is faking it. If it's for real, it certainly is strange.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 0 • Views: 4,243 • Replies: 16
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contrex
 
  -1  
Reply Fri 6 May, 2011 01:24 pm
If I acquired an American accent, I'd shoot myself!
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 May, 2011 01:36 pm
@firefly,
I'm inclined to doubt she is faking it. If she is, tremendous job well done.
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 May, 2011 01:37 pm
Why do they take those long shots of that ugly brooch and her key chain?
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 May, 2011 01:57 pm
@firefly,
A couple of decades ago, I had a file where this happened to someone as a result of a brain abcess / stroke. He sounded a bit Austrian.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  2  
Reply Fri 6 May, 2011 02:09 pm
For a while after I became deaf I had an unplaceable accent. Since I look vaguely foreign/exotic I got a LOT of inquiries as to where I was from. "Minnesota" didn't seem to satisfy them.

Now I think it's tilted past unplaceable foreign to "deaf," based on the reactions of people who notice the accent at all. (A goodly percentage are still surprised to learn that I'm deaf.) (Heh, just remembered sozlet's fabulous Slavic friend who responded to being told that a boy has a crush on her with "Well of course... I'm foreign!" [Picture this with a hair flip and a thick actual Eastern European accent. She's hilarious.])
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 May, 2011 02:13 pm
I don't follow brain mapping that closely, just know that scientists are learning more and more. Maybe this is a mappable change - relative to other Oregonian folks' brains.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 May, 2011 02:28 pm
@firefly,
She doesnt at all sound like shes from Transylvania. (Although, what with the dental work I could think that would be a good accent to acquire).
George
 
  2  
Reply Fri 6 May, 2011 02:34 pm
@sozobe,
sozobe wrote:
. . . Since I look vaguely foreign/exotic I got a LOT of inquiries as to where
I was from. "Minnesota" didn't seem to satisfy them. . .

http://www.pictorialpress.com/photo/gen/500/001-040689.jpg
YOU BETCHA!
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 May, 2011 03:25 pm
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote:

She doesnt at all sound like shes from Transylvania. (Although, what with the dental work I could think that would be a good accent to acquire).


Do you think that bumble bee broach was transylvanian?

That sure was a big-ass broach.

farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 May, 2011 03:56 pm
@chai2,
a bee broach would be first empire French. if it had some resin it could be
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 May, 2011 05:07 pm
@farmerman,
mm hmm, mm hmm, I see.

Thanks farmerman.
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 May, 2011 05:44 pm
@farmerman,
I'm replying to you farmerman, because I've never spoken to anyone who's got a compound before. So thank you so much for giving me a new experience. I know it sounds like I'm taking the piss, and I am a real sarky bastard, but I really do mean it. My daughter took an exam in German today and did really well, so we've been celebrating, and I'm a bit pissed, (UK definition of pissed) so you know I'm telling the truth. In Vino Veritas donchaknow. Anyway if you think foreign accent syndrome is weird, what do you think of this.

BRISTOL, England, Dec. 13 (UPI) -- A woman in Bristol, England, is responding to treatment for an extremely rare condition that makes her speak French and believe she is in France.

Louise Clarke, a 30-year-old recruitment consultant first noticed something going on in October 2004 when she began getting migraine headaches, hallucinations and cloudy vision, the Daily Mail reported.

Clarke, who has lived in France, also began speaking French all the time, and once telephoned all her friends to invite them to visit her in Paris, even though she lives in Bristol.

Her sister finally took her to a hospital in Bath, where she underwent three months of tests, and doctors determined she is one of about 200 people in the world with Susac's syndrome, which affects the brain, ears and eyes.

Clarke said it is under control with steroids and other medication but said she has been told the condition can last as long as five years.

"It might sound funny to others, but suddenly thinking you are French is terrifying," she told the newspaper.



Read more: http://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2006/12/13/Disorder-makes-woman-think-shes-French/UPI-30611166039373/#ixzz1LcPemCz7

Read the last sentence again. Now you know how Parisians feel
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 May, 2011 06:55 pm
@firefly,
Minor brain damage comes in many forms.
0 Replies
 
failures art
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 May, 2011 06:56 pm
This woman faked a disease and was later caught. She claimed amongst other things that she obtained an English accent.



A
R
T
0 Replies
 
firefly
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 May, 2011 09:29 pm
Quote:
Notable Cases Of Foreign Accent Syndrome:

Neurologist Pierre Marie was the first person to be able to describe Foreign Accent Syndrome in 1907, followed not long after by one of the first ever cases in a Czech study, 1919.

One of the most well-known cases of this syndrome was in 1941 in Norway when Astrid L, a young woman, was injured in an air raid and suffered a head injury from the resulting shrapnel. She appeared to have recovered from the injuries she suffered but later on she developed a really strong German accent, and her natives in Norway shunned her.

In 1999, Judi Roberts or Tiffany Noel as she was otherwise known as, who was a native American born in Indiana and subsequently spent her life there, suffered a stroke. She spent a period of time in recovery and it was during this time that the people closest to her noticed that she was speaking with a British accent, even though she had never been to the UK in all of her 57 years.

The first case of dual foreign accent syndrome was reported in January 2006 when a man, who is thought to be Australian, was on holiday in Thailand, where he had a stroke. This was a result of reported diazepam abuse. When he woke up his friends were with him and noticed that he spoke with an English and Irish accent, often switching between the two in mid sentence.

Following this case the media began to get interested in this syndrome and found Linda Walker, from Newcastle and who was 60 at the time in 2006. Like many of the cases she had a stroke, and when she woke up she had multiple accents, and not one of them was Geordie, one that she had before the stroke. Her “new” accents included Jamaican, French Canadian, Slovak, and Italian. She became well-known as a result of her appearances on BBC News 24 and Richard & Judy, where she spoke about what had happened to her.

Perhaps one of the more strangest cases of Foreign Accent Syndrome was reported in 2008, when Cindy Lou Romberg, who was from Washington, suddenly developed a Russian accent after visiting her chiropractor for some neck work. She went to the hospital but they ruled out the possibility of a stroke but 17 years previously she did suffer a brain injury and it is thought that even after all those years the syndrome can still develop because of damaged parts in the brain. Again she was popular with the media and appeared on Discovery’s Mystery ER.

The first case resulting from a migraine or headache was reported in 2010 from Devon, UK. Sarah Colwill who frequently suffered with migraines had a particularly bad headache one day that would not disappear, and it got so bad that she had to call an ambulance. When she woke up in hospital later she spoke with a Chinese accent. This case was widely reported, especially in the UK press.

Not long after the previous case, another woman from the UK, who also frequently suffered from migraines, had a bad headache and went to lie down for a while. When she woke up, her accent was French.
http://www.healthmango.com/foreign-accent-syndrome-what-is-it-and-most-notable-cases.html
0 Replies
 
firefly
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 May, 2011 10:27 pm
Quote:
There are a number of case reports of FAS in the literature, with many different types of accents resulting from mostly strokes but also tumors, bleeds, and multiple sclerosis lesions. In one case the lesion was located in the dominant anterior parietal lobe, in the sensory cortex. In another case there was a stroke in the “left internal capsule, basal ganglia and frontal corona radiata.” A lesion there would cause mainly weakness in the muscles of speech, rather than an impairment of language itself. Yet another case involved a lesion in Broca’s area (language cortex responsible for speech output) – in this case the resulting accent was identified by different blinded examiners as being from various different countries, or even as just being “strange”. The authors concluded:

These findings suggest that FAS is not due to the acquisition of a specific foreign accent, but to impairment of the suprasegmental linguistic abilities (tone, accent, pauses, rhythm, and vocal stress) that make it possible to distinguish native language.

The anatomy of FAS is poorly understood because there are few cases and they probably represent a diverse collection of specific lesions – those that just happen to produce the impression of one kind of accent or another. There are three basic types of localizations that are plausible: Lesions might affect primary language cortex – that part of the brain that is dedicated to understanding language and producing speech. There is also a separate region of cortex in the opposite hemisphere that provides the prosody of speech – inflection and rhythm that both produces and interprets meaning and emotion (for example, understanding that someone is asking a question or using sarcasm from inflection). Also, any part of the motor system that affects the muscles used in speech could affect the ability to pronounce words, perhaps causing certain consonants to be dropped which could resemble a dialect that also drops those consonants.

Case reports generally agree that in FAS the foreign accent is perception only, not reality. In one detailed analysis the researchers showed that the subject continue to display typical linguistic features of their native tongue, but had altered prosody of speech that created the impression of a foreign accent. In other words – the appearance of an accent was superficial, but if you look closely at the details of speech they were consistent with the original native language.

Most reported cases involve a stroke or brain damage with a documented lesion. There are some cases, however, without a known brain lesion. In these cases the question arises – is this particular example of FAS psychogenic, meaning it is psychological rather than neurological. Cases which strongly suggest a psychogenic cause are ones in which there is no lesion, but also the apparent accent seems to be more of an affectation than a deficit. For example, taking on a refined British-sounding accent without any hint of dysarthria or speech deficit is suspect. In one reported case a patient with schizophrenia spoke with a British accent during psychotic episodes, and a detailed neurological evaluation revealed no brain dysfunction or language defect. This accent resolved when the psychotic episodes resolved.
http://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/foreign-accent-syndrome/


The change in this woman's accent was due to a migraine. I don't think she sounds Chinese, to me she sounds more like she has a speech impediment.


The woman from Oregon mentioned in the opening post of this thread, Karen Butler, who woke up with a different accent after dental surgery, is a puzzling case. In most cases, the FAS is caused by a stroke or other brain injury. Dental surgeries do not pose a stroke risk and the drug that Butler says the dentist used to sedate her -- Halcion -- has not been linked to strokes. She has no apparent obvious signs of having suffered a stroke and has not had a brain scan because she says her insurance won't pay for it. I'm surprised if that is true, because I would think her symptoms certainly warrent a scan, or an MRI, to rule out stroke, or even the possibility of a very small tumor, and that's the sort of diagnostic testing most insurance companies usually do cover.





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