September 2nd, 2011

[ANON POST] Effects of going from famine to plenty?

Setting is midevalish time period in a realistic fantasy setting. The area is fairly similar to the middle east in terms of climate and geography, but very different in culture. Several characters are involved: one 50 year old man, two 17 year old boys, and a 14 year old girl. No serious or unexpected health problems considering the situation.

Up until now they've been living in a situation where strenuous activity to the point of near exhaustion was normal, in near famine conditions. That is to say, most of the time there was just barely enough for everyone to eat but not enough for anyone to be satisfied.

They're now in a situation where there's nothing required of them to do, and as much to eat as they want - and they plan to fully take advantage of the situation. The older man and one of the boys will probably spend most of their free time sleeping, the other boy and the girl tend to be more active and will probably run about exploring the area. What physical effects would this have in terms of health, energy levels, weight, etc. over a period of a month or so?

Terms searched for: rehabilitation for malnourishment, famine aide, breaking a fast, dietary changes health effects, starvation health effects. I found a lot on the problems of malnourshment itself, and refeeding syndrome, but I'm wondering about longer-term stuff.

thanks for the help!

How long to regain accent in your native language?

My character, Arden, is born into a society that is at a medievalish level of technology, more or less. Due to a very complicated series of events, he is taken from his home at the age of eight and lives for the next four years in a very foreign country. During that time, he learns to speak that country's language to a native level, and speaks it all day, every day, for the four year period. He had very limited opportunity to speak to a native speaker of his first language. Let's say that for that four year period he lived and breathed L2 95% of the time and L1 5% of the time.

I have a scene where Arden, immediately after returning home, speaks in his native language and cringes when he hears his thick foreign accent. My question is, assuming he's determined to lose it, how long would it take him to relearn his original accent in his L1? He most definitely wants to regain his original accent and "talk proper", as his L2 is a reminder of a dark period in his life and also marks him as a stranger in his own country.

What would be a reasonable timeframe? Three weeks? Six months? Longer?

I did a number of web searchs, but the situation my character is in is a bit different than the norm for dual culture/second culture kids -- which would be probably the closest real-world equivalent -- as he spent several years seperated from his native culture AND his family and other native speakers of his first language. Arden had no one to reinforce his original accent and over time the phonology of his L2 became more prominent.