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
Maya  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bailey  

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Momma"  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mother  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Father  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rev. Thomas  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Miss Flowers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grandmother Baxter