Dysprosody is a rare and relatively unknown speech disorder among the general population. Individuals suffering from dysprosody can speak fairly fluently but the rhythm of their speech, among other things, is disrupted. Foreign Accent Syndrome is associated with dysprosody. Below are some basic answers to frequently asked questions about dysprosody.
What Is Dysprosody?Dysprosody, sometimes also called psuedo-foreign dialect, is a speech disorder characterised by alterations in the intensity, timing and rhythm, cadence and/or intonation of words. In layman’s terms it means that an individual’s accent, or the way in which they pronounce and speak words, is altered as may be their patterns of speech.
What Causes Dysprosody?Some cases of dysprosody are due to neurological causes, though it is the rarest type of neurological speech disorder. Other cases are the result of acquired brain injury or traumas such as tumours, lesions, or strokes that damage the part of the brain that controls speech and language, though these are also rare. Sometimes dysprosody is also associated with Parkinson’s Disease.
Is There a Cure for Dysprosody?Dysprosody is a rare condition and the biology of it – what exactly causes it in each unique case – is not yet fully understood. There is no quick cure for dysprosody, though researchers believe that those affected by it will likely return to more normal speech patterns over time.
What Is Foreign Accent Syndrome?Foreign Accent Syndrome is the name given to cases in which an individual suffers a brain injury and loses the ability to talk in their “normal” or native accent. Instead, the individual begins to use the speech rhythms and pronunciations more common to foreign accents, such as Jamaican, Chinese, German or any other type of accented English language.
This may also be referred to as psuedo-foreign dialect because the individual affected is not actually a foreign English speaker, despite the way in which he or she is now speaking. Unfortunately, after receiving a serious brain injury many patients are further traumatised by their inability to speak as they would prefer and frustrated by their inability to do so.