The 5th Parameter: Mouth Morphemes in ASL

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The 5th Parameter: Mouth Morphemes in ASL

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The 5th Parameter: Mouth Morphemes in ASL

Interactive Online Correspondence

Six modules = .7 (PS) CEUs
Self Paced

Location: Your Home!
Course is asynchronous
By: Dr. Byron Bridges
Workshops Presented in ASL


Program info

All modules are online

All modules have a deliberate practice component that you submit for feedback! (Feedback currently provided by Wink, MA, MBA, NIC Master). 

At the completion of all the required work, we will award you .7 CEUs

Three hours of lecture with descriptions of 49 mouth morphemes and 24 minutes of demonstrations pairing the mouth morpheme with various signs. 

Once you register you will be emailed a link to download instructions that will contain the instructions for the course. 

Topics covered:

Mouth Morpheme types: Lexical, Modifiers, and Onomatopoeias.

The sixth parameter? 

Constructed action and universal facial expressions

And more...


Based on his seminal book "Deaf Tend Your" first published in 1996 then re-edited and re-filmed for 2015, comes Dr. Byron Bridges online course "The 5th Parameter: Mouth Morphemes in ASL." This course expands on Deaf Tend Your by providing tools to participants to learn how modifier mouth morphemes can change the meaning of signs and much more. This course is perfect for those who want to practice deliberately and receive feedback on their work. A preview of the course is provided below.



Module 1: Preliminaries on Non Manual Signals


Following the lecture videos an ASL story will be presented. Please film an ASL video (or written English) addressing the following points:

1) Define constructed action and Reflection of Emotional states

2) In the homework video, identify:

Three (3) Constructed Actions (be sure to include time codes), and

Three (3) Emotional States (be sure to include time codes), used in the video. 

4) Describe all the parts of the body that can be used for Non Manual Signals.

Upload your video to YouTube (unlisted) or Vimeo (password protected), then paste the link below (at the bottom of this page), or email the link to me.

Please email all video links to me or use the submission form below I will send you a confirmation that I received your video, if I do not within 72 hours, please email me to confirm I did get the video.


I have broken up the videos into four videos. I broke the videos up for the ease of mobile users. All videos can be played below in the video and the next video will automatically play, or you can navigate individually via the links provided below.

Module 3: Mouth Morpheme Modifiers

Note: You do not need feedback from Module 1 or 2 to complete Module 3, feel free to begin this module whenever you feel comfortable.


We will be practicing with Byron’s inflection chart presented in this module. Following the way he modeled the process (by selecting one sign for the concept and modifying only the mouth morpheme not the manual sign)

1)   Click the box below entitled "modifier chart" to download this module's document. There are four (4) problem sets in this activity. Please complete all four sets by selecting words that you think would match best with the corresponding mouth morpheme. (This activity is similar to the one demonstrated in the lecture video modifier examples. (Please attach below in the deliberate practice components submissions form)

2)   Select two of the four completed problem sets and create an ASL sentence for each mouth morpheme. (The point of this exercise is to see if you are producing the mouth morphemes correctly and to provide you with practice using these mouth morphemes).

If you need to see the mouth morphemes in slow motion we recommend you scroll down to the bottom of this page where you will find a video demonstrating all mouth morphemes covered in this course. 

NOTE: You do not need to demonstrate the mouth morpheme exactly like Dr. Bridges as he is providing a demonstration of the form. There may be times the same mouth morpheme will be used but with less intensity. 

Module 5: Montage of Mouth Morphemes

Note: Feedback from Module 1-5 will be incredibly helpful here.


Watch the descriptions of each mouth morpheme. Then watch the homework video where you will be required to identify all the Lexical, Modifier, Onomatopoeia mouth morphemes and their meaning. If you have any confusion please list those in your homework.  


About the Author

A color photo of Byron Bridges, a white man with grey hair, wearing a beige suit and black shirt smiling in-front of a red background.

Dr. Byron Bridges was born Deaf to Deaf parents and grew up with a Deaf sister. ASL is his primary language throughout his entire life. He attended both deaf and public schools. Dr. Bridges earned his Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Deaf Studies at California State University of Northridge, a Masters of Arts (MA) degree in Linguistics from Gallaudet University and a doctoral degree (Ed.D) in Deaf Studies and Deaf Education at Lamar University. Dr. Bridges co-authored the book, Deaf Tend Yours. He has written video scripts and produced numerous deaf-related videotapes/DVDs. He is a nationally known teacher and lecturer in ASL and sign Language interpretation. Bridges has been in the field of ASL linguistics, interpreting and post secondary teaching of ASL as a second language for 30 years. He is a Certified Deaf Interpreter (CDI), earning the certification through the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf.

Feedback provided by: Wink

A black and white photo of Wink, a white man, clean shaven with hair parted to one side, not wearing glasses smiling at the camera while sitting in a stairwell and waring a suit, button up shirt, with no tie

Wink, MA, MBA, NIC Master, enjoys researching and creating various workshops that focus on skill building through deliberate practice, which he wrote about in the RID Views, Winter 2012 issue. Presenting workshops the last ten years at national conferences (NAD, RID, Silent Weekend) regional conferences (RID I, II, III, IV, V), state conferences, and local workshops across the nation has given Wink experiences to enhance applications for interpreters of all levels. Wink is widely noted for the comfortable atmosphere he creates and the passion he exudes. Currently Wink travels full time performing, presenting workshops, and managing Winkshop, Inc, through which he has developed a dozen training DVDs. A fun fact: in 2016 alone, Wink traveled professionally enough miles to circle the earth over three times.

Wink is an Approved RID Sponsor for continuing education activities. This professional studies program is offered for .7 CEUs at the Little to None prior knowledge content level.

Target Audience: Those who would like to practice ASL Mouth Morphemes

No Cancellations, contact us if unexpected situations occur and we will try our best to work with you.

Reasonable accommodation requests may be submitted by responding to your welcome email sent to you at sign up.