Two French-speaking cases of foreign accent syndrome: an acoustic-phonetic analysis.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Clin Linguist Phon, Volume 26, Issue 11-12, p.934-45 (2012)


Aged, Articulation Disorders, Female, Humans, Language, Male, Middle Aged, Phonetics, Quebec, Speech Acoustics, Speech Production Measurement


<p>Foreign accent syndrome (FAS) is an acquired neurologic disorder in which an individual suddenly and unintentionally speaks with an accent which is perceived as being different from his/her usual accent. This study presents an acoustic-phonetic description of two Quebec French-speaking cases. The first speaker presents a perceived accent shift to Acadian French (French spoken in the easternmost provinces of Canada), whereas the second acquired an accent identified as Germanic. Speech seems affected by constraints on the coordination of articulatory gestures, expressed by distortions in the production of segments. These distortions do not necessarily result from changes in suprasegmental settings (slow speech rate and isochronous syllable pattern were observed) but may cause the disappearance of markers used for Quebec French accent recognition. Reported speech characteristics are comparable to those of speakers with apraxia of speech (AOS) but symptoms are relatively mild and somewhat similar to the speech of foreign speakers. For this reason, the position that FAS may be a mild form or subtype of AOS, as maintained by other authors, should be seriously considered.</p>

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