What is this condition called?

Peter F - for EIMC Internetional Ptd. Lty. fell_spamtrap_in at ozemail.com.au
Mon Jan 10 07:05:41 EST 2005


Hi Mimi_s_Mum :-)

Forgive me for trying to answer although I am neither an academic, nor 
an expert on the naming of neuropsychological disorders, nor a clincian of any sort.  

"Mimi_s_Mum" <mimi-s-mum at earthling.net (remove minuses)> wrote in message news:nj83u09hbh4sgjll2t9rvk0k8oc9f45qpp at 4ax.com...
> Hi there
> I'm a RN working on a neurosurgical ward.  We have this patient who
> has presented us with a difficulty in expressive verbal communication.
> 
> This gentleman is a native speaker of English but also a fluent
> speaker of chinese and had taught English in China.  He suffered a
> cerebral bleed in L) hemisphere (probably in front-parietal region
> but, not sure excatly where it is, sorry), has severe weakness in L0
> limbs and has had difficulty speaking in English. He appeared to have
> no difficulty comprehending either language and also appeared to be
> conversing freely in Chinese, and in fact his Chinese friends said
> there is no flaw in his Chinese.  However he has been answering
> English questions in Chinese (,which his chinese friends said made
> perfect senses) and manages to speak only brief English sentenses,
> admitting he can't get correct English words out.  When he manages,
> his English expressions seem sometimes quite odd, outlandish, even.
> Eg he said he had a problem with his body heat, or something like
> that, but said yes, when asked whether he was hot. 
> 
> My question is; is there special term for this condition?  

I suggest you call it, Language-specific Broca's (speech-production) aphasia.
Or even that it might be called the same except for making the description 
more specific by changing it to "English-specific.[etc]".

> PS
> I'm a fluent bilingual speaker myself and probably that's the reason
> why I'm particularly interested in this case.  I myself experience
> difficulties in switching between two languages when speaking, but
> never have problem comprehending.  Why is that?

That is a sign - as far as I can 'intuit it' - of the fact that different languages 
(as different as e.g. Japanense and English) are learnt (finally coded and produced 
and phonetically decoded) in 'separate enough' speech preparing (decoding/coding) cortical places. 
This would make the time it takes to switch long enough for only the 
phonetic decoding/understanding process to be completed in short enough time 
for you to not detect any problem in this regard, but it would take so much longer 
time for the speech coding/outputting part of the process of verbal communication to 
reach completion that the _in parallel operating_ mismatch-monitoring function (aspect of 
what your brain does) gets activated enough to make you aware of this 'problem'.

Peter


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