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negativelead99
08-25-2016, 11:43 PM
I'm working on a short story where the MC looses his ability to speak. My fist instinct is to cause the injury in a car accident. Now, there are a lot of Threads out there about damage to the lynx, injury to the chest or Broca area of the brain, the wernicke's area of the brain, vocal chords and they all pretty much get shot down for one reason or another. I won't go into that, but to me it seems fairly simple. Why can't they just bite their tongue off? I'm asking that in all seriousness?

Is there something stupid about that I'm missing? Are they going to bleed to death, or choke on their on blood once it becomes lacerated? Or is it just highly unlikely to happen? Do people never bite off their tongues?

Thank You for your help! :snoopy:

King Neptune
08-26-2016, 12:02 AM
There are quite a few potential causes. My mother lost the ability to speak as a result of Parkinson's Disease. Apparently a major cause is psychological. Are you looking for a physical cause or something else or anything at all?

MNLynx
08-26-2016, 12:23 AM
There's always the classic: cat got your tongue.

How about surgery for larynx cancer?

MDSchafer
08-26-2016, 12:41 AM
Stroke is a pretty common cause of muteness.

Casey Karp
08-26-2016, 12:46 AM
Why can't they just bite their tongue off? I'm asking that in all seriousness?

Because it's not going to render them mute. The tongue doesn't create the voice, just shapes some of the sounds. It's quite possible to talk intelligibly without the tongue. Try it yourself: hold your tongue still against the bottom of your mouth and talk.

Roxxsmom
08-26-2016, 01:11 AM
By muteness, I assume you mean a person who can "think" words inside their head, can hear and understand speech perfectly fine, maybe even write, but can't speak. But I have a further question. Do you mean muteness in the sense of not being able to make sounds at all (aphonia), or muteness in the sense of still being able to make sounds but not being able to form coherent speech (aphasia).

You may want to google aphonia, functional aphonia and psychogenic aphonia, congenital aphonia, and aphasia to find some articles and links that take a medical perspective on this issue.

The most common cause of aphasia would be strokes or brain injuries that affect areas of the brain that govern different aspects of speech (either comprehension of words or the ability to form them).

Strokes that effect the wernicke's (http://www.aphasia.org/aphasia-resources/wernickes-aphasia/) area don't cause muteness, but result in a form of aphasia that results in incoherent speech where the person is trying to say something, but emits a stream of unconnected or seemingly random words. This is sometimes called word salad or logorhhea. The generally have trouble comprehending, or can't comprehend the speech of others either.

Damage to Broca's motor speech area, on the other hand, causes an aphasia where the person understands speech but has to struggle to form words (or may have a complete inability to do so). Speech, if possible, will be slow and deliberate with pronunciation problems. These effects can be long or short term, depending on the severity of the stroke and duration of the ischemia to the relevant brain area.

Speech therapy can help many patients with forms of aphasia improve.

http://www.strokeassociation.org/STROKEORG/LifeAfterStroke/RegainingIndependence/CommunicationChallenges/Types-of-Aphasia_UCM_310096_Article.jsp#.V79dxDX9mjI

http://www.strokecenter.org/patients/caregiver-and-patient-resources/aphasia-information/

negativelead99
08-26-2016, 01:38 AM
You're right about the tongue thing Carp. I'm able to speak much more distinctly than I presumed possible with my tongue on the bottom of my mouth.

The MC suffered head trauma in the same accident he lost his tongue. So I'm going to look into aphonia and aphasia :e2hammer:

Thank You :)

Tazlima
08-26-2016, 01:42 AM
You're right about the tongue thing Carp. I'm able to speak much more distinctly than I presumed possible with my tongue on the bottom of my mouth.



For my own entertainment, I'm imagining you performed this test at work and everybody gave you funny looks. :roll:

Frankie007
08-26-2016, 06:27 PM
i have selective mutism. where the words are in my head, but they can't seem to travel down and out my mouth. sometimes i feel that i don't even have the capacity to even make useless sounds--so i am like really really silent.
i believe it's a part of my autism.

Orianna2000
08-27-2016, 05:31 AM
Not exactly muteness, but I experienced a sort of aphasia once, as a result of a drug I was on--Neurontin, which is sometimes used to treat fibromyalgia pain. That stuff is hardcore--it scrambled my brains! First, I started stuttering. Then I started mixing the syllables of words. If I said two words, I might swap the first sound of each word, coming up with two nonsense words. For example, when trying to say, "black sheep" I might've said, "shack bleep." Then I started having trouble understanding what people said to me. I could understand the individual words, but I couldn't link them together to comprehend the whole sentence. My parents thought I was being difficult, or disobedient/defiant/disrespectful, but the truth was, I didn't understand half of what they were saying to me. Eventually, I realized it was the medication causing it and my doctor took me off the stuff. I've had several doctors try to put me back on it recently, but there's no way I'll ever take that drug again!

MRFAndover
08-27-2016, 05:57 AM
i have selective mutism. where the words are in my head, but they can't seem to travel down and out my mouth. sometimes i feel that i don't even have the capacity to even make useless sounds--so i am like really really silent.
i believe it's a part of my autism.

I was thinking of selective mutism as well.

A psychiatrist suggested to me and my kid that it could result from social anxiety. My kid has general anxiety disorder, and in some situations has a great deal of difficulty speaking. It is usually in an anxiety-provoking situation and when needing to talk with an unfamiliar adult. This issue has gotten much better since 2013-2014.

I'm sure anxiety-induced selective mutism is different from selective mutism as a result of autism. But, Frankie, my kid is sometimes very, very silent as well. I have learned that people of good will understand and accept.

Marilyn

Cindyt
08-27-2016, 10:37 AM
Psychological shock will do it.

possiblerobot
01-13-2017, 04:58 AM
I was looking for something similar. Is there some kind of birth defect or disorder that would deform the larynx in a way that would allow a person to make sounds, but not talk?

Tsu Dho Nimh
01-13-2017, 09:46 PM
You say "loses ability to speak" ... will this be permanent? If not, how long does it last?

And is it just the ability to make sounds, or do you want him to lose language as well?

And why a car accident? Is it just a way to make him mute or does it have other functions?

Tsu Dho Nimh
01-13-2017, 09:56 PM
I was looking for something similar. Is there some kind of birth defect or disorder that would deform the larynx in a way that would allow a person to make sounds, but not talk?

Congenital lack of some or all of the vocal cords/folds would either leave you mute/grunting or with a voice that couldn't make the right sounds for most languages.

Congenital lack of the nerves (or acquired damage) for fine control of the muscles would leave you with noises but no language.

Bolero
01-14-2017, 12:50 AM
Not exactly muteness, but I experienced a sort of aphasia once, as a result of a drug I was on--Neurontin, which is sometimes used to treat fibromyalgia pain. That stuff is hardcore--it scrambled my brains! First, I started stuttering. Then I started mixing the syllables of words. If I said two words, I might swap the first sound of each word, coming up with two nonsense words. For example, when trying to say, "black sheep" I might've said, "shack bleep." Then I started having trouble understanding what people said to me. I could understand the individual words, but I couldn't link them together to comprehend the whole sentence. My parents thought I was being difficult, or disobedient/defiant/disrespectful, but the truth was, I didn't understand half of what they were saying to me. Eventually, I realized it was the medication causing it and my doctor took me off the stuff. I've had several doctors try to put me back on it recently, but there's no way I'll ever take that drug again!

Sorry to hear your problems, glad they were (eventually) sorted.

With regard to transposing words, I've always heard that called Spoonerism - see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spoonerism after the Rev Spooner who was famous for it, though a lot were made up and attributed to him.
I do it myself from time to time when tired, but I grew up in a family where we'd spoonerise on purpose for fun, so its always been something I find amusing when I do it, even when it is not on purpose - after reading your experience, makes me feel lucky. (Nothing ever as bad as not being able to parse a complete sentence.)
Also when tired I sometimes just can't find a word, can picture the object, can't recall the noun. Or the other one is how words are stored in my head - I definitely store fridge, dishwasher, washing machine and cooker under "white cube in kitchen" and again when tired can say things like "did you put the milk back in the dishwasher?"

So with OP, you might want to have it getting worse when the character is tired, or as others have said, stressed.

I do find the human brain and the way it operates (and doesn't) really fascinating.

Emermouse
01-14-2017, 05:47 AM
I am considering for a character's backstory, having him be mute. He was attacked by a crazed ex-boyfriend, who slashed his throat. He miraculously survives, but is left a mute due to the damage. Though I haven't ruled out the possibility that a percentage of his symptoms are psychosomatic in nature. Is this possible or do I need to rethink this?

Tsu Dho Nimh
01-16-2017, 02:35 AM
who slashed his throat. He miraculously survives, but is left a mute due to the damage

That one's easy ... it severed a nerve or unspecified critical thing that has not (yet) regenerated/healed and you have your choice of whether he can make coherent noises or not, and whether it's psychogenic or not.

Tsu Dho Nimh
01-16-2017, 10:18 PM
Two nerves involved ... even scar tissue or swelling could affect them.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superior_laryngeal_nerve
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recurrent_laryngeal_nerve

wendygoerl
01-19-2017, 01:59 AM
They don't even have to bite their tongue. I've got an aunt who lost her voice while mowing the lawn. Couldn't talk for two days. Then back to normal. No idea why.