The San Diego Speaks! website is the public face of the San Diego Sociolinguistics Documentation Project, an on-going research lab at San Diego State University under the direction of Professor DS Bigham. On San Diego Speaks!, we want you to think of the language you hear in San Diego as a living part of southern California and northern Baja identity– always changing, always growing, each speaker adding their own unique contribution to our community’s identity.
Our work at the San Diego Project looks at what people in San Diego sound like when they talk and, more importantly, what people *think* a “true San Diegan” sounds like. The idea that American English dialects are growing more similar is a popular myth, but there are still a lot of differences in accents, vocabulary, and grammar across English speakers in different parts of the country. The demography of the United States is changing rapidly and nowhere is this more apparent than in the greater San Diego community; our community’s multilingual and multinational speakers play an important role in English language variation. Here at the San Diego Project, we want to understand how the linguistic variation that we find reflects variation in how individuals identify as community members. Work in our new Sociophonetics Lab in Storm Hall West at SDSU has already begun investigating the differences in speech between Latino, Anglo, and Filipino speakers in San Diego county, asking why and how linguistic differences reflect the differences in history and public dynamics between local communities.
We invite you to have a look around the site (still under construction, of course!)– check out what we’re working on now in our Fieldwork Blog and make sure tell us about your own thoughts and experiences with language in our Guestbook. Every speaker has a story!
Welcome, everybody! ¡Bienvenidos!