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Book: The Five-Minute Linguist

Chapter: 14. Can Animals Understand Us?

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.38133


When your dog or cat (or parrot or iguana) stares deeply into your eyes while you pour out your deepest secrets, it seems obvious that animals understand us humans. Yet, when it comes to language, things get a bit more complicated. This chapter discusses what exactly non-human animals can understand of what we say to them, as well as why they can't understand even more.

Chapter Contributors

  • Robin Queen ( - robin) 'University of Michigan'