Linguist's X-WOTY: phoneme morphs

RonButters at AOL.COM RonButters at AOL.COM
Sun Apr 13 22:16:04 UTC 2008

I was working away at this week's Florida Crossword Puzzle and responded to 
the clue "phoneme" (being some kind of linguist) with the answer S-O-U-N-D. 


The answer was supposed to be M-O-R-P-H.


It turns out that the phrase PHONEME MORPH is a term of art in the field of 
computer-generated facial expresssions for animated figures. The idea is that 
the animated face "morphs" to be in the position it should be for any   given 
phoneme. As one web site 
( puts it:

"Morphing is one basic technique of Poser animation. Poser is the premier 3D 
character animation and figure design tool. The standard Poser head morphs for 
face animations are:
     •     openLips
     •     smile
     •     frown
     •     mouth O
     •     mouth F
     •     mouth M
     •     tongue T
     •     tongue L
     •     brow down right/left
     •     brow up right/left
     •     worry right/left
     •     blink right/left
With these morphs, it's possible to create phonemes in Poser to create 
realistic facial animations. A phoneme is a linguistic term for the position of the 
lips, teeth and tongue as they make sounds."

See also

This is my nominee for WOTY that is most confusing to linguists. Who knew 
that lip-sync is now a science? (I really DO NOT do drag!!!) Or am I the last LSA 
member to know this?

It's Tax Time! Get tips, forms and advice 
on AOL Money & Finance.

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list