Categorizing

With Juli's ability to express more ASL words, I learned more about how she perceived the world and how she categorized things.

For example, there was a black wall with water falling down surrounded by different kinds of plants at a conservatory. Juli noticed it and uttered bath. I replied ix-loc water falling-down.

Next day or two, we took Juli to SPCA. There was a water falling wall. Juli stood in front of it and looked. She produced bath. I responded water. Sure enough, Juli responded by producing water (new production, see video)

Returning home from SPCA, Juli did show her understanding of categorizing cats from dogs.

A banana mini-muffin was her favorite. Two weeks or so ago, when Juli pointed to the cabinet for that snack, I opened the cabinet door to find out what she wanted. She pointed at the mini-muffin. I signed oh, ix-you want more. From right there on, Juli produced more in reference to cookies, muffins, and even a pack of fruit gummies (that I had never introduced her to, after all they are sweets that I didn't bother talking about or introducing). After all it was easier for her to produce more than cookie or any other snack.

Juli had been pointing to a picture of the moon in books. At the end of this week, I took Juli out for a stroller walk (warm weather). Juli produced [one-handed, right-handed, 20-handshape on headside repeatedly. I look puzzled. Juli then pointed at something in the sky behind me. I turned around. Aha, it was sun.

To double check, I asked where moon?. Juli pointed at the sun. Fascinating. Interesting how a child at this age perceives the world -- are the moon and the sun are one and the same?

Out for a stroller walk and off-stroller walk, Juli pointed at many evergreens in the neighbourhood and produced Christmas (or perhaps tree). Either these evergreens looked like a Christmas tree or Juli's productions for "tree" and "Christmas" look alike.

Making a request

Juli is able to make a request a few things she wished. For example, last week she would request a bath while she was eating or toddling around.

Juli was able to make a request which book she wanted from a pile of books on the kitchen table. She once pointed to the book and produced dog (tapping on her leg). I handed her a book with the cover of a dog.

The other day Juli pointed to one of the books and produced gorilla and I handed her the right book. For the rest of the books, I had to make a guesswork.

Requesting for a cookie by pointing to the kitchen cabinet and uttering more is very common. Sometimes pointing at something is sufficient for Juli and me to understand. For example, a light to turn on in the basement.

Use of ASL words

The following words that Juli has used with references in the last couple of weeks: girl (referring to the girl in the book), laundry (slightly bent 5-handshape+twisting wrist, ball (different production), moon (same for "sun"), firefigther (same for "father"), cold with mouth morpheme "razzy" (perfect and clear production) please, butterfly (new, emerging), Christmas (referring to Christmas boxes in the basement), milk and some reguarly used ASL words.

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.