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).


Related signs: CAKE, GINGERBREAD, YUMMY.

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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