English Is Not Normal

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English is a weird language; it has odd rules and is unlike many other languages. For example, it’s the only language in which a present tense requires a special ending only in the third‑person singular, -s. Out of all the Indo-European languages, English is the only one that doesn’t assign gender to nouns. It was interesting to learn about the history of English starting off as a kind of German language. Old English is nothing like the English that we speak now, reading sentences of old English seems like a completely different language. I found it special that English and Celtic have been the only documented languages that use the verb do. As an English second language speaker, I find this to be so confusing to explain to my non-English speaking family members: the verb “do” is used all the time! “They use it [do] to form a question, to make a sentence negative, and even just as a kind of seasoning before any verb.” This sentence made me laugh because it’s true, “do” is the seasoning of the English language!

Longitudinal Changes in Speech Breathing in Older Adults with and without Parkinson’s Disease

A longitudinal study was performed in order to analyze older individuals with and without Parkinson’s Disease and measure their speech breathing and speech production. The older adults were among the ages of 65 and 82. It involved analysis of speech severity, speech production level, utterance length, speech rate, as well as lung volume initiation and termination and their vital capacity. The results showed how with the progression of the Parkinson’s disease, older adults were shown to have a decline in their speech severity, increases with speech production level, an increase in speech rate and no change within utterance length.

M;, H. J. E. D.-W. (n.d.). Longitudinal changes in speech breathing in older adults with and without parkinson’s disease. Seminars in speech and language. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28618443/

Different Types of Speech Disorders

A speech disorder can cause one to have the inability to speak properly and clearly. This can be seen through repeated words, stuttering, long pauses, etc. Speech disorders are just one of the various types of communication disorders. Such speech disorders can be caused by a variety of things. This includes stress, nerve damage, conditions with the nervous system, as well as brain damage. The most common disorders include apraxia, dysarthria and aphasia. Apraxia can be seen in childhood as well as adulthood. With childhood apraxia, a child is not able to use their muscles properly to portray a massage. They are not able to move their tongue or mouth in the proper way in order to make certain sounds. This can cause a child to limit how much they can talk. With adult apraxia, it is acquired and can be due to brain damage. Such brain damage can be due to certain conditions such as lack of oxygen to the brain, a brain injury or brain damage. This form of apraxia can leave gaps within their speech. As they once knew how to speak correctly, they may not be able to make it sound right consistently. They can have a hard time controlling their tongue, lips and mouth in order to make the correct sound. Such adults may have to talk slower, and in severe instances, they can no longer be able to talk. Dysarthria can occur from brain damage that results in muscle weakness. They often cannot move their mouth or tongue very well or even at all. They can speak either very slowly or very fast and often slur their words. Their voice can also sound very different due to the brain damage. Aphasia is a linguistic impairment caused by injury to the left hemisphere of the brain. They are shown to have difficulty with speaking and understanding people, as well as writing and reading. They often have hard times remembering words and thus have a hard time forming full sentences.

Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT)

LSVT or the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment is a behavioral speech treatment used as a form of therapy for individuals with Parkinson’s Disease. There is a specific form of this treatment known as LSVT Loud which is used commonly to train such individuals. This program trains people to alter their voices in areas such as sound volume and pitch, as well as many other variables. The way that it works is by reshaping motor learning and neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity describes the brain’s ability to learn again, as seen through adjusting sensory feedback. This can be so that individuals with Parkinson’s Disease can realize view the volume of their voices being at an appropriate range, as compared to those that are “normal”. The program’s purpose is to get the patient’s voice volume up to a healthy, normal level so that he or she can communicate with other people. It focuses to improve vocal loudness, intonation, and articulation. Such treatments are being performed both in-person and online.