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Some patients who suffer brain injuries occasionally lose the ability to talk in their native accent - but now scientists may know why.
The condition, called "foreign accent syndrome", affects only a tiny number of patients.
It can mean that a native English speaker can end up sounding more like Spanish or French.
To the untrained ear, those with the syndrome sound as though they speak their native languages with a foreign accent; for example, an American native speaker of English might sound as though they speak with a south-eastern English accent, or a native British speaker might speak with a New York American accent.
However, researchers at Oxford University have found that certain, specific parts of the brain were injured in some foreign-accent syndrome cases, indicating that certain parts of the brain control various linguistic functions, and damage could result in altered pitch or mispronounced syllables, causing the speech patterns to have a different sounding accent. More recently, there is mounting evidence that the cerebellum may be crucially involved in some cases of foreign accent syndrome