Linguists Are Trying To Figure Out Why Trump's Speech Has Become So Strange

President Donald Trump has an unusual way of stringing sentences together. He seems to shift gears midway through sentences, forget to finish thoughts and repeat himself a lot. His way of speaking has been pure gold for meme-makers and comedians, but according to some linguistic specialists, Mr. Trump didn't always speak that way. His speech patterns have changed, possibly due to aging, and possibly due to some kind of cognitive decline.

According to STAT News, Donald Trump's speaking patterns have drastically changed over the years. The change is pronounced enough to suspect there may be a mental illness at play. They asked 10 experts to sound off after comparing Trump's speeches and interviews from years ago to the speeches and interviews he has given recently. Experts seem to notice a distinct difference in his behavior. His vocabulary and syntax seem to have deteriorated over the decades.

While it's impossible even for experts to be sure without subjecting Mr. Trump to a battery of tests, they did note that in his younger years, Trump could string together coherent sentences with proper syntax and polysyllabic words. He didn't lose his train of thought or repeat words as often as he does today.

He sounded much more eloquent and fluid-- a transcriber could take any lengthy quote from a young Donald Trump in the 1980's and have a coherent, well-written paragraph. Today, that same transcriber would want to pull his own hair out in trying to decide what to do with a Trump comment. For example, in a recent statement, Trump concluded with, “...there is no collusion between certainly myself and my campaign, but I can always speak for myself — and the Russians, zero.”

One might think it could be the heat has been turned up since Trump took office, and the hostile political climate could contribute to a difference in speech patterns. However, some previous interviews have come at difficult times, such as during Trump's divorce or when he was being challenged on his bankruptcy. Answers to those tough questions didn't seem to make a difference in the past.

There may be another reason for the difference, experts point out. Trump might have changed his speech patterns on purpose. It may be part of a strategy to relate better to his target audience.

Some readers agree. “You’re dismissing the strategic aspect of this much too quickly," wrote one commenter. "Between the 1980s and now, Trump turned himself first into a popular figure (with reality shows) and then a political figure. Both of those required him to communicate at a much lower level than when he was a real estate developer in NY. Note that Obama’s speeches scored at the eighth-grade level — no one is arguing that he’s undergoing cognitive decline.”

Source: Yahoo News
Photo: Michael Vadon/Flickr

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