Baby overcategorizing concepts: One Monday morning a month before (age 0;9), as a frequently visiting neighbor cat passed by the low window, at the precise time Juli made some noise. The cat suddently freezed and looked up through the window.
Quickly I grabbed Juli and showed her the cat. As I pointed to the cat, the cat walked away. Coincidentally, the animal book lying nearby showed an image of the cat. I pointed at it and uttered the ASL word cat, cat, cat.
Juli looked and thought for a moment. She tapped on her lap. She associated this older ASL word with both dogs and cats.
I turned the pages, pointed to the image of a dog, and uttered #dog, then tapping on my lap. I pointed to the cat and uttered cat. I added vocalized gestures to both of them: "woof" and "meow" along with the ASL words. Juli smiled and giggled at the "woof" sounds (or maybe my facial expression).
At one point this week Juli looked at the purple stuffed giraffe and tapped on her lap. Okay, a concept of "animal" in her own language.
Juli (m9w1) reached out her arms and vocalized "mom" to her father Dude who corrected, "No, it's dada, DA-DA.". Again at another time, Juli vocalized "mom" when Dude approached her.
Dude turned to me, "Hey, Juli called me 'mom'?" I asked, "Really? It's #m-o-m? He nodded. I replied, "It's normal." He looked at me, "It's normal? I'm not a mom."
Baby at this age say "mama" (or "dada") indiscriminately. Google it and find it's very common.
The other day I was holding Juli in my left arm while I arranged the baby seat belt with my other hand. Grandma Z observed that Juli took a good look at me and said "mama", but I was absorbed with the task.
One night, I came home, opening the door. Juli looked up at me with eyes lit up, vocalized "mamama", and crawled toward me. I greeted mother repeatedly and reached out my arms.
Videoclip: Juli and I responded at the same time when producing the same (tapping on the leg). It was a moment of experiencing a connection with her.
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.