September 15th, 2009

Physiological causes of mutism?

Hi. I'm looking for physiological causes of mutism, or being unable to speak.

The setting is current, the place is Wisconsin. The protagonist is a man in his 20's. He was born and raised in Wisconsin to Americans, so English is his native tongue. He's of normal to high intelligence, and other than being mute, is in perfect health.

Most of the Google searches seem to come up with a few main topics:
* deaf-mute, which isn't accurate as he isn't deaf.
* selective mutism, which isn't accurate as he doesn't have an anxiety disorder. Nor is he particularly shy, nor does he have any sort of somatoform disorder what would strike him mute ('hysterical mutism').
* Autism. He's not autistic.
* Aphasia. I'm willing to consider this, but he doesn't have any problems reading, decoding, or processing language - just saying it.

I would imagine that, if he's truly mute, he wouldn't be able to utter any sounds, which is OK. So far, I have him communicating with a combination of ASL, written notes, and his trusty Sidekick phone; obviously this can change depending on what's out there. (I haven't done a lot of research into devices that nonverbal people use yet).

The only things I can come up with are either brain/head injury, or nerve injury affecting the vocal cords. Or a tracheostomy. So, what else is out there? Many thanks in advance!

Navajo (Dine) Names

I have three characters in my YA novel who are traditional Navajos.  Twin boy and girl, age 12, and their mother's mother.

I need to know as much as possible about Navaho (Dine') names.  Especially, when someone has a "anglo" name they use daily and a secret name used within the family.  Is the secret name given when the baby first laughs or at a later ceremony? Also, within the family, how will traditional Navahos generally address one another?  Will grandchildren address their mother's mother as Ma'sani? How would twins (boy and girl) address one another?  When would the secret name be used?

My story is set in present day- kids are 12, family is Traditional Navajo, set all over the place

I googled navajo names, navaho names, dine names, dineh names, navajo naming ceremony, navajo naming ritual, navajo name traditions, etc.  Got baby names sites and some info, but not specific enough