Michelle Myers’ accent is global, but she has never left the country.

The Arizona woman says she has gone to bed with extreme headaches in the past and woke up speaking with what sounds like a foreign accent.

At various points, Australian and Irish accents have inexplicably flowed from her mouth for about two weeks, then disappeared, Myers says.

But a British accent has lingered for two years, the 45-year-old Arizona woman told ABC affiliate KNXV.

And one particular person seems to come to mind when she speaks.

“Everybody only sees or hears Mary Poppins,” Myers told the station.

Myers says she has been diagnosed with foreign accent syndrome (FAS). The disorder typically occurs after strokes or traumatic brain injuries damage the language center of a person’s brain – to the degree that their native language sounds like it is tinged with a foreign accent, according to the Center for Communication Disorders at the University of Texas at Dallas.

In some instances, speakers warp the typical rhythm of their language and stress of certain syllables. Affected people may also cut out articles such as “the” and drop letters, turning an American “yeah” into a Scandinavian “yah,” for instance.

Unlike many stroke or brain-injury victims, sufferers typically produce grammatically correct language, Sheila Blumstein, a Brown University linguist who has written extensively on FAS, told The Washington Post for a 2010 article about a Virginia woman who fell down a stairwell, rattled her brain and awoke speaking with a Russian-like accent.

The injury caused her brain to truncate pronunciations for “this” and “that,” resulting in foreign-sounding “dis” and “dat.”

Myers told Fox News that doctors said her affliction was likely a side effect of a hemiplegic migraine, which produces symptoms that are similar to a stroke.

“It’s actually quite dangerous,” Myers said. “It looks just like a stroke, but it’s not a stroke. They don’t know how or what triggers it.”

Living with FAS has meant enduring taunts over a condition that Myers cannot control.

“People would think it was a joke, saying things like, ‘You sound like a Spice Girl,’ ” she told the Sun, a British tabloid. “It was hard, because I was really struggling. I have come to terms with the fact I might sound like this forever. I realize it’s part of me now.”

FAS was first documented in 1907, when French neurologist Pierre Marie surveyed a Parisian man who suffered a stroke and suddenly spoke with an Alsatian accent, although he …read more

Source:: The Denver Post – News


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An Arizona woman says she fell asleep with a headache, woke up with a British accent

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