Preschooler says the darndest things in ASL

How four and five year old kids perceive the world is fascanting. With more language development, they tell more how they view the world. Enjoy the stories.

The Horse's Hooves: A month from turning age four, a horse had been the bilingual ASL-speaking Juli's identity. She often acted as a horse, hooving around.

One day she dressed up by herself and came downstairs. Her feet were bare. I told her in ASL, (translated as) "It's cold here. You'd better get yourself socks." Juli explained, no, horse have cl-hooves. not need socks. I explained how hooves were a form of socks. Juli replied, socks inside-foot from-mouth-down ("Socks are inside the hooves.").

Real or Fake: Juli talked about how real Chuck E. Cheese mascot was when I frankly told her that it was fake and there was a man inside the mascot. She insisted it was so real. Further, I told her that the purple dinosaur on TV was fake. She didn't believe me. With curiosity, I showed her pictures of humans putting mascots over their heads online. Nevertheless, she still believed these mascots were real. Later, she explained that the line of the mascot head around a human's neck was stuck, undetachable.

One night, Juli told me, ix-me saw giraffe. you see? I replied no. She held her hands covering my eyes for me to see a girafee. She closed her eyes and opened, ix-me saw giraffe in my eyes. you see?

Speed Ticket Tattle: "When my daughter Tasha was 3 and a half, my husband said to me, 'I'd like to talk to you about your speeding!' 'What? Tasha signed: "Daddy drives the red car slow. Mommy drives the blue car FAST!". -- Marion, August 21, 2011. "My daughter Tasha is Deaf in a hearing family. She has been learning sign since she was 11 months old!"

Dog Adoption Strategy: "Tasha signed to me that I should pet the neighbour's dog (she's 4.5 now). 'Feel nice, mommy? Do you like it? Isn't it soft?' I signed back that yes, the dog was very nice. She then signed to me, 'Okay! Now we can go get a dog tomorrow!'". -- Marion, August 21, 2011. "My daughter Tasha is Deaf in a hearing family. She has been learning sign since she was 11 months old!"

"Signing is WONDERFUL. Watch my Tasha in action at 3 at Deaf Children's Society of B.C. (Canada). Tasha is the little blonde star of the show! :-)" - Marion.

Related posts

Also see Age 4: dardnest things to sign 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.