Month 6, Week 2
Juli's eye-hand coordination had become finer -- comfortably targetting and reaching an object, pushing down a doorknob. Dropped and picked up an object. Able to sit without support for long minutes. Tested herself by a little leaning back to pull herself back, learning to balance. Handled from sitting to tummy. Still spontaneously smiled when strangers or familar faces talked to her. First little pearly tooth (lower central incisor) protruded. Teething.
The emergence of marginal babbling
Marginal or pre-canonical babbling is characterized by an unit of consonant and vowel (e.g. "ba", "da, da", etc.) at 4-6 months of age.
In studies, the onset of marginal babbling in hearing infants typically co-occurs with hand banging or some type of rhythmic motor activity at around 4-6 months of age.
Keiko Ejiri (1998) observed that "On average, 40% of rhythmic manual activity co-occurred with marginal babbling, whereas less than 5% of rhythmic manual activity co-occurred with other categories of vocalization. Further, more than 75% of all marginal babbling was accompanied by rhythmic manual activity." (Language Acquisition by Eye, pp 15-16.)
This study refers marginal babbling to speech or vocalization, but how would linguists explain about a relationship of marginal babbling in signlan and rhythmic manual activity? How might marginal babbling in signlan look like?
There is little, if not none, research study on marginal babbling in signlan (4-6 months). On the other hand, a study on the onset of manual canonical babbling (starting at 6-7 months) is available.
Asides that, two new things emerged this week. In addition, last week Juli began to pat on my arm communicatively.
Now Juli began to reach her hands out when she wanted something nearby her. It may be a non-linguistic, communicative gesture. But, this emerging movement is somehow an analog to a single syllable like "baaa".
On the other hand, Juli's grandpa waved his hand on videophone and Juli responded. It was a repetitive series of syllables -- a similar characteristic of canonical babbling.
Could it be a combination of marginal babbling and rhythmic manual activity? She hadn't babble syllabic after that until the emergence of canonical (reduplicated) babbling some time later.
With little reserach studies and data, I hope there will be some more research findings in the future.
Learning object permanence: videophone peekaboo
Juli had been getting familiar with videophone. Who knows what was going through her mind when conversing with her Grandpa and Grandma? Some little folks alive inside the thin box?
Every time talk on videophone was over, Juli found herself and her mother on videophone. I played peek-a-boo with her by turning on and off the videophone's privacy mode.
The ASL words that I used with Juli this week are as follows: carrot, light (as in electronic)... and the usuals.