Two Cases of Foreign Accent Syndrome:  An Acoustic-Phonetic Description

J Laures, J Contado, G Weismer, M Rambow


Foreign accent syndrome (FAS) is a rare subvariety of an acquired inability to make normal phonetic and phonemic contrasts of one’s native dialect following most commonly a left hemisphere lesion.  This paper presents two cases of native English speakers (1 male, 1 female) with suspected FAS.  The first speaker is perceived as having an accent ranging from Swedish to Japanese, while the other speaker has a Jamaican or Spanish accent.  Speech samples were collected from both speakers.  Acoustic measurements of voice onset time, vowel duration, formant frequency analysis, and stop consonant duration were performed.  Results indicate that there are no consistent characteristics defining FAS, therefore reinforcing the notion that FAS may not be a syndrome.