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Speaking an unknown language

asked 2015-03-19 14:34:49 -0500

anonymous user


Briefly, 2 months ago I started speaking in an unknown language in addition to English. I would like to know what it is and what exactly I am saying. I would like to know where or who I could contact to find out.

I live and work in southern Illinois as a chef. I own a home, 2 dogs and a cat and other than rudimentary Spanish and English have never spoken anything else. I was doing some research on the internet and came across your website while I was reading about Sarah Thomason and xenoglossy.

Can anyone there point me in the right direction? I have recordings I can email or if someone would like to speak with me I am open to that.

I appreciate your quick response.

Thank you

Liz P

(Transferred from old LINGUIST List Ask-a-Linguist site)

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answered 2015-03-19 14:36:00 -0500

anonymous gravatar image


I'd would advise against just sending a recording, without some other kinds of investigation with you in person.

You would likely want a workup by a neurologist, especially one who has worked with a linguist previously, or who has a neurolinguist on staff or handy. They would want to determine whether your new speech pattern is indeed "a language" or some other kind of connected sequence of sounds. And it would be good to rule out other issues that you haven't brought up (or noticed), including whether all your motor activity and reflex reactions are still working as expected.

Does this unknown language get in the way of your daily life?

On what occasions do you find yourself speaking this way?

Obviously at least some of the time your English continues to be dominant, and your writing seems unaffected (though I didn't read anything you wrote before this happened).

From a quick search on the terms "medical school illinois neurology" (without the quote marks), I found that SIU has a department, but I'm not sure whether they know a lot about language issues. Call them and find out.

Nancy J. Frishberg

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Asked: 2015-03-19 14:34:49 -0500

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Last updated: Mar 19 '15