I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,  Maya Angelou

Varieties of Language

We encounter many different varieties of English (and even Spanish!) in Maya Angelou’s autobiography.  Try to be aware of these as you read and record examples of each – with page references.  Create a chart like the one below as a way of tracing who speaks what.  (Your own chart will need more space than this example; ideally, you should also make a note of the relevant page numbers.)
Southern Black English
Northern Black English
Standard US English
Biblical English
Literary English
"Pig Latin"
Textbook Spanish
Colloquial Spanish



































Rev. Thomas  







Miss Flowers








Grandmother Baxter