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I have wondered this question for awhile, and I thought it would be appropriate to ask on here. Particularly, is there any evidence showing that animals exposed to human language during their development acquire some specific understanding for that language? A dog raised by an English owner seems to understand words of the owner, either by learning or some form of conditioning. Would it be extremely hard for an animal to listen to someone of French or Spanish, for example, later on in their life? Would it be the same degree of difficultly as a human adult during second language acquisition? Sorry for the broad question, just genuinely curious.

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  • $\begingroup$ FYI: the title at first made me believe you were considering animal 'language', and not animals understanding human language. And, the first sentence is not pertinent to the question and can be removed. $\endgroup$ – Steven Jeuris Nov 29 '19 at 17:44
  • $\begingroup$ Kanzi is an interesting case study. His mother Matata was taught language later in life, and failed to learn hardly anything. Kanzi was exposed to language early in life, and picked it up spontaneously. Consequently, researchers now believe that Bonobos do indeed have a critical window much like humans. $\endgroup$ – Arnon Weinberg Nov 29 '19 at 23:03
  • $\begingroup$ I have noticed that kittens are curious and tend to play. I've seen them chasing butterflies and having play fights. As mature cats, they rarely do these things. This suggests to me that cats have a period of learning and play too. $\endgroup$ – zooby Dec 1 '19 at 1:38

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