Wednesday, August 20, 2008


In a language that is only symbols (although, aren't all languages just systems of symbols?), not sounds, are there homonyms? I suppose if you have always been deaf, it would be hard to imagine words sounding the same, rather like the inhabitants of Ixchel and their inability to understand the concept of vision in their eyeless world. But the sign language in our house happens simultaneously with spoken language, and it turns out homonyms (or homophones?) do come into play.

A few months ago Adriana learned the sign for glasses and now whenever she sees me without mine, sees Brian with his sunglasses on top of his head, or notices my sunglasses sitting out of their case, she makes the sign (well, her version of it). But I was confused last night as she made the sign over and over again (accompanied by the whine she always adds when she thinks we aren't paying proper attention to her signs) while pointing out onto our balcony. I was wearing my glasses, and there were no other glasses in sight. And then I realized what she was really pointing to: water glasses, left over from dinner, sitting on the table outside. It's such a little thing, but it's interesting to me to see how her language, her ability to communicate, and her display of all that she understands are developing.

1 comment:

Casa Cornett said...

How interesting! Eye glasses, water glasses - she made a logical connection! I'm always fascinated by how my boys link things in their heads. It's funny to see the world through the eyes of a child...