Baby signing from babbles to signed words

The baby Juli had been signing from first obscure, referential babbles at 6-7 months and now begining to grow into a bit more translucent words.

For example, the baby Juli before her first birthday had tapped on her chest herself with the "5" handshape sometimes before. But, I couldn't confirm that. Because, she pointed to herself with an open (5) handshape that was more ambiguous to interpret a few possible meanings: "me", "bath", or somethint else or nothing.

From the first babble to a perfect production

At age 1;2,4 (late 14 months old), Juli's father was about to leave for work. I told Juli in ASL that Dad was going to work now. Juli responded in a perfect ASL production work, right-handed.

Long way back at the end of 6 months (at the babbling stage), Juli had been exposed to the ASL word work often prior to her first syllabic babbles ("5" handshape). Her first babble was recognized as work especially with the dominance rule (see "dominance rule" for more information).

At the one-word stage, Juli formed from the "5" handshape into the "A" handshape. She produced work with the "A" handshape with the "clap-like" movement. It was clearer and more identifiable.

Now Juli produced work with the dominance rule, that was her left hand remained stationary while the right hand moved.

Articulating smoother and clearer

Fast forward, the 17-month-old Juli's signing had become smoother and clearer. For example, when she articulated camera. Not only the production was now well-formed, it was crystal clear and fluent.

As for some other ASL signs/words, naturally, the phonological primes were still developing at this stage. But, the movement and articulation were clearer.

Even when Juli mumbled in ASL (e.g. "bee eat" in video), I could recognize her utterance.

Another example of how I could perceive her signing clearly. For example, the four ASL productions video and drawing both had the identical handshapes ("B" with open thumb and "A") but the movement was different (video = tapping; drawing = downward++).

The other two ASL productions outside and hiding (both "A" handshapes) had a different handshape from the two above even though their respective movements were the same.

Juli had a unique production for the alphabetical letter "R" (see video). I showed her the letter at different times and her production had been consistent.

Language development: acquiring referential words

Juli made a clear reference to an orange. She pointed to it and produced orange. She has made this request twice. In other word, "I want that/this orange."

Juli produced bread many times in the last days but I had a benefit of doubt. But, she also produced pop-up-toast and I was sure of this reference.

Then there was a time Juli has beautifully and clearly articulated bread pop-up-toast (two ASL words) when Dude put a couple of bread in the toaster. I realized that her production bread in the previous days was indeed a reference.

Juli has produced work (two fists clapping) when referring to my work bag and when seeing me work in my office, and when touching my work binders.

She also uttered cold when opening a door to the outside on several occasions.

She sometimes talked with herself about drive-car.

During reading, I pointed to an image of the turtle and articulated turtle. Juli turned her gaze and finger pointed to a nightlight turtle sitting on the top of the dresser.

There were some other productions that I couldn't figure out their connection to meanings. So they remained to be "babbles." But, eventually contexts would help me discover a link of Juli's productions to meanings.

For example, Juli produced which resembled to sweet in adult production. Later, I realized its meaning when a context came. She referred it to a light.

If she were using an index finger instead of the "B" handshape for light, I'd likely have recognized. That's what I recalled my younger brother producing light with the "1" handshape. But every child is different.

Language development: ASL words

The following emerging words that Juli had used with references: bath, bread, cold (when opening the door to the outside), please, light, bicycle, shoes, poop...

The following emerged referential words that Juli had used: penguin, snow, orange, toast, work (when tottling toward the working mother's office)...

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A bird in our house

One year old hard-of-hearing baby sign "more drink" in ASL.

This documentation project follows a baby's language acquisition, literacy development, and phonological acquisition in sign language, specifically ASL, week by week from gazing at birth to manual babbling, to first words just before the first birthday in a natural native-ASL environment and visual culture.

The second-year and third-year documentation continues to follow the same child's language and phonological acquisition and literacy development in ASL on a weekly basis from the one-word stage to two-word and multiple utterances.

The documentary continues to follow the same child's ASL language and literacy development on a regular basis from age three to four. It surveys ASL phonological acquisition and more complex utterances.

These posts on ASL-English bilingualism, language acquisition, and bilingual education may be of an interest for parents who raise a bilingual-bimodal child in ASL (or another signed language) and English (or another written and/or spoken language of its respective) as well as informative and educational for ASL specialists, educators, and professionals.