During the first week at 15 months, Juli would lean sideway to the left in her highchair to get my attention whenever I became absorbed or daydreamed while preparing food.
Juli had learned that I was a visually-oriented person. Every time she or her head leaned sideway, I'd notice out of the corner of my eye and turned to gaze at her. She did this every time to get my attention.
A few weeks later (week 4), Juli tapped on my arm or leg to get attention. Sometimes she would pull the sleeve to get one's difficult attention. She stomped her foot to get one's attention from a short distance.
Also at 15 months (week 4), Juli often led me to something she wanted or wanted to show by taking my hand and leading me to the destination.
One day Juli told me motorcycle with a razzy visue. I was like "huh?" She repeated it. Seeing that I was clueless.
Juli took my hand and led me to the window of my office. We looked out the window. Ah, the neighbor was starting his classic motorcycle.
One Friday as I was putting some food in the microwave, Juli just exited the kitchen. Just in a blink-like moment, she came back crying with her very first bump on her forehead.
After taking care of her, I asked [translation] Where did it hit your forehead? I even really wanted to ask "How did it happen?" But, I knew it was not the time she could describe.
Juli toddled fast toward the piano bench, pointed at it, and gently slapped it "bad". I asked again the same with video camera.
Next early morning Dude came back home from his night shift. Juli took Dude's hand and led him to the piano bench.
She pointed at it and described hit-on-head++, then pointed back at it and gently slapped it "bad!"
Being able to tell what hurts her was wonderful that I could know what caused. But, I hope she would remember and would be able to tell me how in a few months when her language might boom.
Lots of ladybugs visited our front and back yards at this time of the year. I showed Juli a real-life ladybug last week and connected the ASL word lady+bug to it.
Juli knew this ASL word that I used many, many times from books, but now Juli saw a real one. Juli produced ladybug vaguely that I mentioned about it last week.
But, this week Juli watched several ladybugs in our yard and made up her own word for it. The production was using the "1" handshape multi-pointing to her torso. Seemingly, it derived from the ladybug's black dots on the body.
I couldn't remember how she picked up that. It could be that I produced lady+bug and then described the characteristic of a ladybug using a classifier, where she picked up from.
There were also a few other distinct productions that Juli made up in reference to some objects she came across. It's fascinating to look into toddlers' minds of how language emerges.
Juli paused from playing and reported motorcycle.. motorcycle repeatedly a few times. What was she trying to tell me? She took my hand and walked to my office toward the window. There, the neighbour started up his classic motorcycle and proudly rode off.
The other day Juli stood in front of the stair gate. She asked help. Agreeably, I opened the gate. She uttered thank-you. I was impressed and pleased.
Grandma Z casually announced "I'm going home now." Juli toddled fast to the front door and produced home. She pulled down the handle and tried to open it. She uttered home a few times along the way.
The following referential words that Juli has used this week: grass (often used but difficult to capture on video), mother, home some more shown in the video above, and some reguarly used ASL words.
Related signs: Paying attention to signers.
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.