16 months old, week 3

Juli continued to pick up and produced ASL words -- some for the first time and some from memory from a long while ago. She also produced some two-word utterances sometimes.

Emerging ASL compound-like words

An interesting thing about the emergence of a ASL compound word (not two words) that Juli used was ladybug+bug.

Remember these English words are glosses, not representing ASL words in the same way. For example, the English word ladybug is a compound word.

But, what Juli produced for "ladybug" was a single word (multiple-pointing at her torso). Earlier in post, I explained that it was her invention, her own production. Every time she produced her own ladybug, I responded with the correct ASL word lady+bug, that which is an ASL compound word.

Now several times this week not only Juli had produced the non-compound word ladybug (pointing at her torso), but she also produced bug right after that.

Juli had produced her first compound word ladybug + bug. This might derive from the acquisition of two-word utterance. It is kind of a gray area or a thin line between an two-word utterance and a compound word.

I had a benefit of doubt. But, Juli also produced another compound word lion+hands-on-knees that has been consistent and somehow clear. I had never produced the latter part. It was her own addition that described the two sitting lion sculptures on the front lawn of a house.

Fast-forward to the next week, Juli and I sat in the food court at a shopping mall. She noticed a face-only sculpture of the lion on the surface below the open space second floor. She produced lion+hands-on-knees. There was no body nor legs in that sculpture. It showed consistency in her production. (see video)

Another is that Juli produced dragon fruit more (see video). The difference between a compound word and two-word utterance is somehow a gray area.

These may be or may be not a true compound word, but it's an interesting process. At what point of the stage does a child understand the concept of a two-word compound for a single referent? Something for the future research.

Checking out in the mirror

For the past few weeks, Juli enjoyed looking at herself in the mirror as if she was standing in front of a new friend. Her facial expression and body language showed some kind of a sheepish shyness.

On the last day of the last week, I began to notice when she toddled toward the mirror and stood in front of it. She produced ladybug a few times while looking at herself in the mirror.

Use of ASL words and multi-word utterances

The following referential words that Juli has used this week: wolf (been several weeks but difficult to capture on video), ice cream, outside, camera, owl, time (understanding the referent but probably not the concept of clock-based time), some more shown in the video above, and some reguarly used ASL words.

A friend Rene who had his signed name sat under the gazebo outside. Juli stood on the other side of the yard and produced friend Rene.

Juli toddled around near the shoes. She pointed at the shoes and mumbled mine shoes.

Outside in the yard, Juli produced grass father, referring to her father who mowed the grass the day before or so.

Sitting in the highchair, Juli asked for more dragon fruit (see video). The other day, she pointed at the pan which her father was cooking with the day before. She uttered cook father.

One morning Juli woke up and got up. Right away she produced hungry eat (open palm on her torso and 20-handshape twice on her mouth).

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.