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No. 115: Jan-Feb 1998

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Stroke Changes Accent

"A Scottish woman went to bed with a headache and woke up speaking with a South African accent instead of her usual lilting Scottish brogue, a British doctor said yesterday.
"Doctors say she had a minor stroke and suffers from foreign accent syndrome, a rare condition in which patients acquire a different accent after suffering a stroke."

(Anonymous; "A Rare Stroke Changes Accent," Baltimore Sun, October 14, 1997.)

Comment. Assuming this Reuters dispatch isn't pulling our legs, that's a pretty peculiar syndrome! The woman must have been previously exposed to the South African accent and incorporated it in her memory.

From Science Frontiers #115, JAN-FEB 1998. � 1998-2000 William R. Corliss