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Functional lateralisation of pitch accents and intonation in Norwegian: Monrad-Krohn's study of an aphasic patient with altered "melody of speech".

Authors
  • Moen, I1
  • 1 Department of Linguistics and Philosophy, University of Oslo, Norway. , (Norway)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Brain and language
Publication Date
Nov 01, 1991
Volume
41
Issue
4
Pages
538–554
Identifiers
PMID: 1777811
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

The present article provides a linguistic analysis of Monrad-Krohn's famous description of a patient with deviant prosody (1947). Monrad-Krohn found it particularly striking that the patient's "melody of speech" had been damaged although her musical abilities showed no impairment. The patient had suffered a traumatic motor aphasia as the result of a shrapnel wound in Broca's area. In East Norwegian, accented syllables are associated with one of two pitch patterns, either a fall in pitch or a low-level pitch. The patient had trouble producing the distinction between these two accents. Monrad-Krohn's description also suggests that she may have accented words in contexts where they should have been unaccented, with the result that these syllables (erroneously) received one of the two pitch patterns. It is suggested that her apparently deviant sentence intonation could, in some cases, be the "secondary" result of a tendency to produce full vowels in positions where a reduced vowel would be expected, thus abnormally prolonging an otherwise appropriate rising pitch pattern.

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