All of a sudden over the past month Ethan has been learning 1-2 new words a day. I counted all the words he could say and it was way over 75, and of these about a quarter are Putonghua. I don't know what is normal for a 15 month old, but I think all toddlers go through a language explosion before reaching two years old. All I can say is that it is really fun to communicate with him and not have to guess at what he wants. If he wants to go he will say 'bye bye' or 'home' if he wants to go all the way home, if he wants to drink he will say either 'wa wa', 'juuuuice' (we just started letting him have watered down OJ since both Bob and I are sick and don't want him to get sick), or nia nia' (for milk), if he wants to sleep he will start clamouring for his duck lovie 'ya ya' and his binky 'bin bin'. Now when Bob gets home he will say 'Da dee' and then 'bao bao' for daddy to pick him up. And I am now officially 'Mommy' after first being 'Ma Mum' then 'Ah-ma' (I guess to a 1 year old a 30 year old does make me an old lady) and then 'Ma Ma'.
I think it's neat how he can recognize specific things within the same category. For example as we walk down the street he will point out the 'busss', 'kaa' (which actually are golf carts since there are no cars where we live), 'tuck' (truck), 'ain' (train). Vans still confuse him and he calls them buses. When he first learned the shape circle he called it 'bub-ble' since a playground we go to is underwater themed and I used to point out the white bubbles surrounding the fish. After awhile I started letting him know that only bubbles are formed from water, so now he says 'irk-le' for circle when he sees the outline of a circle or 'dot' for many solid circles that are together and 'ssspot' for circle patterns on an animal. Usually though when he is excited and first sees a circle shape he will yell out bubble first but then corrects himself.