Even though babies often say their first words at around 12 months, most have learned quite a few words by 8 to 10 months. Before they can speak, babies can point to objects when they are named and can often respond to simple directions or requests.
Shelov, S. P. (Editor-in-Chief). (2004). Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5. The American Association of Pediatrics. Revised edition. New York: Bantam Books.