I find this video from NPR/Radiolab completely relevant, as we are emerging into the realm of words with Jack. We are becoming very aware of what we say and how we say it.
For a few months now, Jack has been an excellent mimic of syllables and tone. We will be outside, and Blitz will be dragging his paws, trying to be outside longer. I'll say, "Blitz! Come. HERE!" Then Jack will say, "Ba! Ba. Ba!" He points at Blitz as he commands him to come here. I can't help but laugh.
His little language of jibberish is fleshing out into repeated words that are close to the real thing and repeated enough that we know what he's telling us. And Jack is even using a few real words now too, which is so exciting! In addition to 'dada' and 'mama' we've got a string of b-words: bird, ball, bowl, Blitz (more like Bit), and Bill. He also tries to say "tickle tickle" when he tickles you, but it adorably sounds like "tucka tucka."
The most exciting development in the word arena happened when we all were in the kitchen. When Jack is trying to tell us something and the process of elimination falls short, he gets frustrated. And rightly so. Who doesn't get frustrated when they aren't able to communicate clearly? I got down to his level and said, "Jack, I know you're frustrated because you want something. Could you try and use a word and tell us what you want instead of crying?" (I knew this was a total longshot, I mean I was speaking with a 15-month-old baby! Before I stood up, in an immediate response Jack, clear as a bell, said, "Water." We bursted with laughter and Dan said, "Oh! You want some water in a cup, buddy?" Jack, with a huge smile, nodded YES!
I just find language development so interesting! Before we moved to SF, I had started my Master's program in literacy and language development. It's so exciting to watch words connect with the things that surround kids every day, and for them to surprise us with how much they already know and understand.
I think you should watch this. I love homonyms.