Expressing an apology

Two weeks ago Juli and a girl bumped into each other at the park. Juli uttered sorry which was a perfect production. Another bumpy accident occurred and Juli again signed sorry. It was not the first time she produced this, but this time she did on her own.

This week Juli scribbled on the floor with a washable marker again and again. I had had enough and put the marker away. I explained in ASL (translated as) "Stop scribbling on the floor. No more drawing for now." As I was washing away the marks, Juli approached me and clearly uttered sorry. It was quite unexpecting. She understood the concept of an apology.

Language development

The following referential words and phrases that the toddler Juli had used this week: siren alarm, blueberry, stop water (asking for help to turn off the hose water), milk drink, mother, drawing ("mother" to get my attention to make a request for drawing), help, mother, car red (red car parking outside), father drive, bring food, sit-down, red book (referring to the purple textbook), bug/insect bite, computer typing, swimming, baby video, better (after kissing on her wound), mango (patterned fingerspelling), sunscreen (lotion-on-forearm), some more not mentioned here, some more shown in the video above, and some reguarly used ASL words.

Bedtime chit-chats: One bedtime, Juli (1;6,0) chatted with me in the dim dark in her bedroom. The insect bump on her wrist bothered her. She uttered insect/bug bite and she kissed on her wound (discouraging her from scratching it).

Then, Juli pointed at the fan and produced fan on/off (where the signed ASL "on" could mean "on" or "off"). She pointed and uttered bed. And so on as she couldn't sleep for a while.


Got a story to tell your experience and share it with others? Send an email to Handspeak. I'd love to hear about it, too.

ASL vocabulary

"I am a mother of an 18 month old hearing daughter who has ASL vocabulary of about 20-30 signs. I started teaching her signs from an ASL dictionary as a means of communicating with her before she could speak. She has done so well. [..] As she begins speaking, she stops signing the word, I assume because she is the only one ever signing (except her parents)." -- Cindy - sunnyvale, CA (near San Jose, CA) - Thursday, March 18, 1999 at 22:18:53 (EST)

Toddler Twins

"In Fall of 1980, Roger and I were 1 1/2 year old. We were in Montreal with Dad and he took us to visit Grandpa's workplace at CBC Studio. In the studio, we could see ourselves on the TV besides the videocamera. We could see what you see in the videoclip and we are signing about what we see.

"Observe how we already have right-hand dominance in our ASL signing and how the dexis handshape (pointing finger) can express so much information. " -- by adrianpd at YouTube

On the blackboard, Dad successfully used ASL to start teaching us English.

Also, see how I use my face expression to reflect what Roger's emotion is.

Thanks Dad for getting us into the Deaf & ASL community at a such early age! _\,,/


Source: or YouTube at

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.