Baby picking up signing on a 2-dimensional screen

The baby Juli (age 1;4) paid certain attention to some ASL words that her grandpa K talked on videophone and imitated them, such as love/hug, cry, (gesture -- holding hands on face), and a few others.

This tells something about Juli's perception skill and her understanding of the relationship between three-dimensional space and flat two-dimensional surface that she can perceive and pick up new ASL productions from K via videophone.

Like infants at all stages, Juli did imitate from the cooing stage to the babbling to the one-word stage to

After chatting with K on videophone, Juli sat in highchair and made some conversations consisting of smooth transitions between ASL words.

But, that was not the earliest that Juli recognized ASL words on the 2-dimensional screen. The earliest that she responded to the ASL sign of her own on the screen was at 11 months.

Baby recognizing an ASL word in video

Back then, the 11 months old baby Juli sometimes watched ASL vlogs for the previous months. Sometimes, at that time, I pondered these questions. How did she perceive them? Did she recognize herself in the videos (like mirror)?

One day Juli stood and held on my legs and pointed at me as I was editing the video on the computer. Pointing at me indicated that she wanted to sit on my lap so I picked her up.

The video above shows a syllabic production which was the earliest emergence of the ASL word "bear". It'd be a precursor to the production in which the location took place on her torso.

As Juli watched the video clip, she responded to her own ASL production "bear" in the video and produced the same. I grabbed the camera to document and replayed the video clip. Juli responded and uttered the same for the second time and the third time. (video code at 1:15)

Language development

This week I noticed a few new significant developments. Juli picked up ASL words relatively quicker. Juli continued to pick up some new ASL words, such as wait, excited, and lemon.

Juli produced with more smooth transition between ASL words, produced ASL words immediately after being introduced to new words, and produced more ASL words from memory that I hadn't used in a long while.

Juli picked up more ASL words in shorter time. The length of time between perceiving a new ASL word for the first time and using or producing it had become nearly melded into a slice of time. That is, whatever Juli was introduced a new word, she began to produce it as soon as a few minutes or a day afterward.

Another thing was that Juli produced an ASL word, for example cherry, from memory that I hadn't used it in a long time. She came across a picture of the cherry in the picture book and asked for it. The last time we had cherries was long before the last autumn.

Though Juli had produced some ASL two-word utterances sometimes in the past weeks, it was a sign of the emergence of two-word stage. Now Juli began producing some more two-word utterances.

Use of ASL words and two-word phrases

The following new referential words that Juli has used this week: ladybug (her own production), worm (dominant "1" down on passive "5"), bug (closed "5" on nose), slide (dominant "5" down on passive lower arm), fan, hug, lemon some more shown in the video above, and some reguarly used ASL words.

One day the father was napping on the sofa in the family room. Juli, sitting in the highchair in the kitchen, matter-of-factly uttered father sleep. I didn't say anything prior to that.

Juli stood in front of several pairs of shoes. She pointed at one of the shoes and uttered shoes mine before she toddled away.

Other multi-word phrases that Juli uttered were as follows: bear hug, mother father work, mother cook/cut grape.

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.