Stronger accent following a stroke—the case of a trilingual with aphasia

Levy, Erika S.; Goral, Mira; Castelluccio de Diesbach, Catharine; Law II, Franzo

This study documents patterns of change in speech production in a multilingual with aphasia following a cerebrovascular accident (CVA). EC, a right-handed Hebrew-English-French trilingual man, had a left fronto-temporo-parietal CVA, after which he reported that his (native) Hebrew accent became stronger in his (second-language) English. Recordings of his pre- and post-CVA speech permitted an investigation of changes in his accent. In sentence and segment listening tasks, native American English (AE) listeners (n=13 and 15, respectively) judged EC’s pre-CVA and post-CVA speech. EC’s speech was perceived as more foreign-accented, slow, strained, and hesitant, but not less intelligible, post-CVA. Acoustic analysis revealed less coarticulation and longer vowel- and word-durations post-CVA. This case extends knowledge about perceptual and acoustic changes in speech production in multilinguals following CVAs. It is argued that EC’s stronger accent post-CVA may have resulted from damage to the neuronal networks that led to impairment in his other language domains.


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Also Published In

Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics

More About This Work

Academic Units
Communication Sciences and Disorders
Published Here
July 14, 2020


key words: multilingual, Foreign Accent Syndrome, accentedness ratings, acoustic analysis, aphasia