Toddler answering to a wh-question in ASL

The toddler Juli continued her effort to jump. So cute when she tried to jump without going up as if the gravity pulled her tightly. Ran fast enough that I had to run too when chasing her.

In the beginning, she understood a question -- e.g. "Where is the [noun]?" -- by pointing to an image or object. Before the emergence of finger pointing, she showed her understanding by gazing at something.

Next Juli understood my requests and performed them well. These days I kind of could make any reasonable request and Juli fulfilled it.

For examples, the other day Juli wanted to go outside. I found only one shoe of mine and asked her, "Where is my other shoe?" She toddled quickly toward the spot where I found it. She responded to other requests such as "Please give it to Dad." "Throw it into the garbage."

This week I asked some simple wh-questions and she answered. At one point, I asked "Where is Dad?" Juli answered work. (See video)

One bedtime reading, Juli sat on my legs facing me on the floor. She opened the page where a cat was hiding behind the greenery. I asked "Who is hiding?" She answered cat.

Then Juli turned the next page where a dog was hiding behind the barrel or some sort. I asked "Who is hiding?" She answered dog (patting on her leg) and then produced #DOG.

Interesting, she was ready to try the next level of challenge by uttering the regular ASL word for "dog" which is an ASL fingerspelled loan.

The ASL word #DOG is not fingerspelled letter by letter. It's a lexicalized sign that Ameslan perceives this sign by its movement and shape. Juli has demonstrated her perceptual skills by producing a similar pattern of the movement and shape of #DOG.

Use of ASL words and two-word utterances

The following referential words that Juli has used this week: another++, candy (jelly beans in the picturebook), jump++, ant, bug/insect, light, skating, some more shown in the video above, and some reguarly used ASL words.

Saturday, Juli and I took for a walk outside. She excitedly pointed at the red robins in the distance. She uttered bird flapping.

Sunday, Juli laid in my arms at a bedtime in her dark bedroom. Suddenly, she got up and asked for, if not commanded, grapes to-eat. I replied in ASL, (translated as) "No, it's bedtime now." Shortly then, she uttered more milk.

Tuesday, riding in the stroller at a shopping mall, she asked for more cookie. Later, an older toddler or preschooler passed by. Juli tried to make friend with her, but the other girl waved bye-bye. Back home, Juli recalled and told a story friend bye-bye (see video).

Wednesday, bath done (see video) referring to the picture in a book.

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.