Luke’s nearly 15 months old and is toddling around and climbing up stuff he has no business climbing up. He says ‘mamá’ (mummy), ‘babá’ (daddy), ‘yiayiá’ (granny), ‘Ee-a’ (Lia, his nanny), ‘Ee’ (Lee, his sister) and the Greek baby work ‘mam’ (food). The only thing he’s uttered in English is ‘daddy’, but with emphasis on the ‘-dy’, as is the case with many Greek words. Anyway, it seems generally directed at the universe, rather than me in particular, so I’m not sure what he means when he says it.
Most of these are not really words, of course. With the exception of ‘mam’, I think they’re just the first sounds that come out of a baby’s mouth naturally that sound like words (being a combination of vowels and consonants). The mothers and fathers of lore then sprang on them and claimed their little one was calling them. It’s just a theory, but I believe that baby’s invented those words.
So really we just have ‘mam’ – food – and a smacking sound he makes with his lips that means ‘water’. Basic things, but important.