Friday, August 21, 2009

Toddler homophones

In the continuing effort to parse Jacob's words, we've started to run into some toddler homophones (though they may be homonyms...if only Jacob could spell out what he wants).

The first homophone we discovered is "meh boh." If we are sitting at the dinner table eating spaghetti, when Jacob asks for "meh boh" he wants one (or probably more) meatballs. Sometimes he asks for "meh boh" even when we are eating something else. If we are out for a walk in the neighborhood and Jacob says "meh boh," he's referring to a mailbox. Typically he is pointing vigorously, so interpreting the reference is pretty easy.

Our latest verbal ambiguity is "muh." The first referent for "muh" was Mommy, of course. But then at breakfast the other day he kept pointing at my wife and repeating "muh, muh, muh!" He didn't seem satisfied that Angie acknowledged and was delighted that he wanted to talk to her. Eventually it dawned on us that he was pointing past Angie to the shelf behind her where we keep the banana muffins. It was a bit of a blow to us both that he was asking for a baked treat and not for his own mom. He seemed thoroughly satisfied once he got his treat.

In an attempt at clarity, Jacob has started to add a syllable. Now he says, "muh-fuh." We are sticking to our guns that he is only referring to muffins and that this is not a new homophone (or homonym). Yikes!

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