The 22-month-old toddler Juli had exhibited facial expressions in the past few weeks, but this week was more noticeable. As anticipated, it was more affective than grammatical.
Whenever Juli came across an image or ASL word that showed "sadness" or "crying", she responded with a facial expression: burrowing eyebrows and clenched teeth.
Then in the following week, Juli continued to develop and express facial expressions as well as postures. For example, when uttering car tiny!, her posture inflected to fit with the ASL word tiny.
Another thing Juli astounded me was that not only the ASL words she picked up, but also imitated (mimicked) new productions that she never saw before.
For example, Juli briefly watched a few signed stories in British Sign Language (BSL). She captured one production and imitated it that she never had seen before.
I pointed at the alphabetical letters "ANNA" and explained in ASL (translated as), "It's the aunt's name Anna."
Juli responded walk. I replied Walk?. Juli uttered next aunt. I asked Walk with aunt?. Juli answered park!. Juli added swinging. Juli led aunt to the park by foot the other day recently.
One day I came back home from shopping. Juli pointed at the door with a begging look. She wanted to go out. She got upset when I took off my coat.
I asked her if she wanted to go out. Juli replied drive. I asked, "Would you like to go out for a drive to a store?" Juli got excited, food store.
The following referential words and phrases that Juli used this week: store, outside store, food store, hungry, (one of her excuses to divert from bedtime), new, doctor, ask father, tiny car, and some more shown in the video above, and other ASL words mentioned in the past months.
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.