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Foreign accent syndrome
Foreign accent syndrome is a rare medical condition that usually occurs as a rare side effect of severe brain injury, such as a stroke or a head injury. Between 1941 and 2006 there have been fifty recorded cases. 
Additional recommended knowledge
Those with the syndrome speak their native languages with foreign accents; for example, an American native speaker of English might speak with an Urdu accent. However, researchers at Oxford University have found that certain, specific parts of the brain were injured in some foreign-accent syndrome cases, indicating that certain parts of the brain control various linguistic functions, and damage could result in altered pitch or mispronounced syllables, causing the speech to have a different accent. The change in speech is not the result of sufferers' adopting or imitating any accent; this is merely the perception of people who hear the sufferer speak.
One of the first recorded incidence of FAS was in a Czech studied in 1919. However there has been an earlier reported case in 1907.
A well-known case of foreign accent syndrome occurred in Norway in 1941 after a young woman, Astrid L., suffered a head injury from shrapnel during an air-raid. After apparently recovering from the injury she was left with what sounded like a strong German accent and was shunned by her fellow Norwegians.
Another well known case is that of Judi Roberts, also known as Tiffany Noel, who was born and raised in Indiana, USA. In 1999, at the age of 57, she had a stroke. After recovering her voice, she spoke with a British accent, a mixture of English cockney and West Country, despite never being to Britain.  Apart from a British accent, she has begun using British vocabulary, such as "bloody", and "loo". Professor Ryalls attributes this to vocal tract posture, as British English has tenser vowels. 
Another case of foreign accent syndrome occurred to Linda Walker, a 60 year old woman from the Newcastle area. After a stroke, her normal Geordie accent was transformed and has been variously described as resembling a Jamaican, as well as a French Canadian, Italian and a Slovak accent. Bunyan, Nigel. "Geordie wakes after stroke with new accent", Telegraph, Telegraph Media Group Limited, 2006-7-4. Retrieved on 2007-12-30. She was interviewed by BBC News 24 and appeared on the Richard and Judy show in the UK in July 2006 to speak of her ordeal.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Foreign_accent_syndrome". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|