Well, not really. But dear little B.T. is well into his baby-babble stage, and he’s making multisyllabic sounds. His “first word” was something like [a’ʕɯ]¹ or possibly [a’ʢɯ]² (to my english-speaking ears, it’s hard to differentiate a voiced pharyngeal fricative and a voiced epiglottal fricative), which we transliterate as /a’gu/. It is, so far as I know, a nonsense word. Certainly not the “mama” or “dada” we’re looking for, not yet.
What I find interesting, from a linguistic perspective, is which sounds he is choosing to make. Obviously, vowels are first, and easiest. He specialises in [a], [u], and [i], primarily (that’s, “ah”, “ooh”, and “ee”), although I think the [u] is actually usually [ɯ] because he hasn’t really learned to round his lips at the same time as making a sound. But it’s even more curious that his first consonant is a sound that doesn’t appear in English natively at all. Again, I’m guessing it’s because of ease of pronunciation. Making a voiced radical fricative involves little more than vibrating your vocal chords while forcing air through it. (Maybe it’s a little more complex than that. The sound he makes is like a rolling-g sound.)
In other news, I am well aware of the fact that attempting to analyze the phonemes my baby is sounding out classifies me as a special kind of nerd.
¹The funny-looking stuff is from the IPA. That’s basically a linguistic nerd alphabet.
²Clearly I learned how to do footnotes this week.