Compulsive Unusual Linguistic Communication Syndrome: Human Being Becomes Obsessed Alongside Speaking Faux French

You may convey seen headlines such as: Florida Man Woke Up In H5N1 Motel Room Speaking Only Swedish. Or: Englishman wakes upwards speaking Welsh afterward stroke (“Rare encephalon disorder left English-speaking Alun Morgan alone able to communicate inwards Welsh”). The commencement instance was probable due to a fugue state, a type of dissociative disorder involving loss of personal identity as well as aimless wandering (Stengel, 1941). The minute seems similar an unusual illustration of bilingual aphasia involving loss of the mightiness to talk one's native linguistic communication (rather than the to a greater extent than normally affected minute language).

Perhaps you've fifty-fifty seen paranormal claims like:
Under Hypnosis or Past Life Regression, H5N1 Physician's Wife Starts Speaking Swedish

. . .  In sessions conducted from 1955 to 1956, when Tania was nether hypnosis, a personality emerged who spoke Swedish, a linguistic communication that neither Tania nor Ken knew. As such, this represents a instance of xenoglossy, where an private tin flaming talk a linguistic communication that has non been learned through normal means.

Tania was born inwards Philadelphia as well as every bit such, English linguistic communication was her native language. Her parents, who were Jewish, were born inwards Odessa, Russia. No i inwards the draw solid unit of measurement had ever been to Scandinavia as well as they knew no i who could talk Swedish.

Xenoglossy is “the putative paranormal phenomenon inwards which a someone is able to talk or write a linguistic communication he or she could non convey acquired past times natural means.” Of course, there's e'er a logical explanation for such cases, but magical thinking leads people to believe that such phenomena are proof of past times lives as well as reincarnation.

A New Case of False Xenoglossy

An amusingly written clinical study describes a 50 twelvemonth quondam Italian human being who stopped speaking his native Italian as well as insisted on speaking broken as well as somewhat imitation French afterward a neurological lawsuit (Beschin et al., 2016). An abnormality inwards his basilar artery blocked the necessary menstruation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), alongside hydrocephalus as well as brainstem vascular encephalopathy every bit a result. H5N1 typical illustration of the status (known every bit megadolicho basilar artery) inwards to a greater extent than or less other patient is shown below.

Fig. 1 (Thiex & Mull, 2006). (A) CSF menstruation obstacle (arrow). (B) megadolicho basilar artery.

The human being had no previous psychiatric history as well as retained the mightiness to talk perfect Italian. The clinical study includes the alone instance of the discussion “fling” that I retrieve seeing inwards a scientific journal, therefore I'll quote at length:
He had superficially learned French at school, used it inwards his 20's due to a fling alongside a French fille but he has non spoken it for close thirty years. In his professional person life he used English linguistic communication every bit his minute language. Before encephalon impairment he never manifested a detail attachment to French civilization or French cuisine. His accent is non due to dysarthria as well as he speaks polished as well as right Italian, his woman rear tongue. However, he at in i lawsuit states that French is his preferred linguistic communication refusing to talk inwards Italian spontaneously.
. . .

JC's French is maladroit as well as amount of inaccuracies, nevertheless he speaks it inwards a fast measuring alongside exaggerated intonation using a movie-like prosody as well as posing every bit a typical caricature of a French man. His French vocabulary is reduced as well as he commits several grammatical errors but he does non talk grammelot or gibberish as well as never inserts Italian price inwards his French sentences. He uses French to communicate alongside everybody who is prepared to listen; he speaks French alongside his bewildered Italian relatives, alongside his infirmary inmates, alongside the consultants; he spoke French fifty-fifty inwards front end of the befuddled Committee deciding on his pension scheme. He claims that he cannot but talk inwards French, he believes that he is thinking inwards French as well as he longs to sentry French movies (which he never watched before), buys French food, reads French magazines as well as seldom French books, but he writes alone inwards Italian. He shows no irritation if people practise non sympathise him when he speaks inwards French.

He performed good on painting naming as well as verbal fluency tests inwards Italian, although he commencement tried to cite the item inwards French (substituting category names similar ‘vegetable’ for the depression frequency discussion ‘asparagus’). His episodic retention was wretched as well as he could non retrieve autobiographical incidents from the previous few years (but could retrieve before memories). He performed good on most other cognitive tests. But he did exhibit to a greater extent than or less psychiatric symptoms that were secondary to the encephalon injury.
However, he presents alongside to a greater extent than or less delusions of grandeur, slumber disturbances as well as has to a greater extent than or less compulsive behaviours: he buys unnecessarily large quantities of objects (e.g., needing 2 hangers he bought 70) as well as he makes tons of breadstuff to his wife's chagrin. He likewise shows unjustified euphoria (which he labels joie de vivre): for illustration inwards the morn he opens the windows as well as shouts bonjour stating that it is a wonderful day. He manifests signs of social disinhibition, for illustration proposing to organise a singing tour for his daughter's teenage friend or offering French lessons to his neighbours. These symptoms are indicative of secondary mania (Santos, Caeiro, Ferro, & Figueira, 2011) as well as were drug-resistant.

This is sure enough a highly usual outcome of megadolicho basilar artery, but banker's complaint that the subtitle of Beschin et al.'s article is “A clinical observation non a mystery.” There is no truthful xenoglossy hither (or anywhere else, for that matter).

Further Reading

Man Wakes Up From Coma Speaking New Language: The media’s dearest of xenoglossy

Foreign Language Syndrome “There truly isn’t a legitimate unusual linguistic communication syndrome...”


Beschin, N., de Bruin, A., & Della Sala, S. (2016). Compulsive unusual linguistic communication syndrome: H5N1 clinical observation non a mystery. Cortex DOI: 10.1016/j.cortex.2016.04.020

Stengel, E. (1941). On the Aetiology of the Fugue States. British Journal of Psychiatry 87 (369): 572-599.

Thiex R, Mull M. (2006). Basilar megadolicho torso causing obstructive hydrocephalus at the foramina of Monro. Surg Neurol. 65(2):199-201.

Jen speaks imitation Italian on the IT Crowd.


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