Distinguishing ASL words from animal visues

To have fun reading the book "Perfect Pets" by Roger Priddy, I signed an ASL word of each animal and then made a goofy characteristic of the animal.

These animal visues liken to animal sounds in hearing culture where a parent makes an animal sound, such as "woof" for dogs, "moo" for cows, etc.

It's natural that, in our eyeing culture, we supplement animal visues to our language as we are visual people. It's no less different from sound animals used with infants in hearing culture.

This instict is part of parentese that parents naturally and instinctly use with infants found in different cultures, languages, and modalities (signlan and speech) around the world.

Video clip: As Juli listened, I signed an ASL word of the animal. Then, I acted out an animal's distinct characteristics with a funny distinct facial expression as well as using ASL's rich classifiers. Juli laughed hard.

This showed that Juli understood humor in the act-out part which was apart from the linguistic part. It appeared that Juli was able to distinguish language from animals visues (an analog to animal sounds).


Lucky this time that I captured the original moment. Intentionally, I wanted to capture Juli's smile with two pearly little teeth. How?

I exaggeratedly shaked my head with big smile and with a recording camera in my hands, trying to make Juli smile.

Unexpectedly, I found Juli imitating me by shaking her head. She did a few times but after that, she laughed whenever I did.

Video clip: Every time I shook my head, its movement affected the stability of the camera in my hand, thus losing the clarity of Juli's head movement in video.

Talking about what you're doing

Talk with your baby about what you're doing. It helps connect language with daily activities.

Whenever Juli watched me with interest, I explained to her what I was doing -- cooking, picking up lawn mushrooms, etc.

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.