COOKIE in sign language

drawing of a cookie

This drawing by "Juli" at age 5 shows a blue plate of many chocolate chip cookies. Juli asked me how to spell 'cookie' so I fingerspelled it while she wrote down.

Meaning: A small sweet cake, typically round, flat, and crisp.

Pronunciation (production): Dominant claw-C (handshape), palm down (orientation), in contact with passive up-sided palm (location), taps on the palm, twists at the wrist, then taps on the palm (movement).


Baby signing COOKIE in ASL

This timelapse video shows how the child's handshape, location, and movement develop from baby to pre-K in ASL phonological acquisition.

At Christmas dinner, the eleven-month-old baby-toddler "Juli" learned one of some earliest ASL words - COOKIE. Her Deaf cousin introduced it to her. Watch how the toddler acquired it and signed it.

The toddler probably wondered what it was and had a feeling that it must be something yummy. Maybe she sensed that it was not hers so she hesitated to have a bite. Maybe. She pointed to it and looked at his cousin for an explanation, for a share, or maybe for a word. Sweet tooth.

A month before her first birthday, this ASL sign COOKIE emerged. A cookie is clearly a motivator! As you can see the look on her face. Initially, she used the unmarked handshape "5" instead of the "claw" handshape. Later, handshape "20" (known as "baby O in linguistics) and then "claw 5".

Proximalization: notice that the movement was initial in her left hand and then transferred to the right hand. She was/is right-handed.

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