Friday, February 28, 2014

Mouth Morphemes in ASL

If you're a serious student who wants to learn ASL, and you've passed at least ASL I and II, it's time to start learning some mouth morphemes. A mouth morpheme is the way your mouth should be shaped to convey different meanings and grammatical aspects of ASL. There are many mouth morphemes and  this truly is a very advanced part of ASL. I will go over a few well-known mouth morphemes that you should keep in mind while signing. Keep in mind that without photographs, this may be hard to understand. I recommend the book and video set entitled, “DEAF TEND YOUR,” or the video, “Mouth Morphemes.” Here are a few to keep in mind. In general, where the word is underlined in the example is where the mouth movement will be.

MOUTH MOVEMENT / DESCRIPTION / EXAMPLE:                        
CHA / big (height, length, size) / MOTHER WANT COFFEE LARGE
TH / clumsy, lousy  
Puffed Cheeks  / very fat, long ago, many / POINT JAPAN SUMO WRESTLER WOW FAT
Clenched teeth / very many, huge, smart, sexual climax, dark, dangerous / BELT (DARK) BROWN
Tongue out & down / not-yet, ugh, accident, lousy,  erratic, hungry, exaggerate / TEACHER NOT-YET COME CLASS
STA-STA / struggle, long process
Pursed lips / work hard, read carefully, sorry, hearing  person, persevere, secret
Pursed lips with twiggled nose / characteristic, the way it is
Puckered up lips (mmm) / write, drive, read, curious, medium-sized, comfortable / POINT SOFA COMFORTABLE
Puckered up lips with “AWFUL” sign / interesting, wow
FOR-FOR / what for, why, how come / I SIT TTY YOU COME BOTHER FOR FOR?
PAH / finally, big success
POWOO (Pow-oo) / stricken, forget, boom
WATT / don’t want, want  / MY WIFE DON’T-WANT EAT FISH
SOO tired, cold, dirty, delicious, good riddance, curious, close call
SOW / very cold, very tired, very hard, very embarrassed
FISH / finish, stop it / MY HOMEWORK FINISH
PUTT / tend, give in
POW / explode, hit hard, trigger a gun, repress, hot temper
SHH / use exceedingly, make out, poke fun, wild time 
MUM-MUM  / win an unbroken series of games, nab  many suspects
FK / skip work, ignore
PS-PS / fancy, chic