This is a map of San Diego County, where most of our speakers come from. For the sounds and voices of San Diego Speaks!, you can click on the color-coded square icons—a speaker’s Fact File— to learn about and listen to the people who have worked with us so far.


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Speakers: 32.715738, -117.161084

You can click on the layer window in the upper right corner to change what kind of map you’re looking at (we like the Google Hybrid map!). From here, you can zoom in or out to see how our speakers fit into a larger view of the US Southwest or California (and we highly recommend checking out the Voices of California Project at Stanford to learn what NorCal sounds like!).

The people of San Diego are some of the most ethnically, linguistically, and socially diverse people in all of the United States. Because of this diversity, it’s hard to group our speakers into the kinds of categories that sociolinguists and anthropologists often use when we talk about language variation. For example, “Sam” and “Kat” are both half-white on their mothers’ side; Sam’s father is African American, and Kat’s father is Kumeyaay Indian. Yet Sam considers himself to be “black” (even though he grew up in a predominantly Latino neighborhood) while Kat– even though she grew up on the Campo Indian Nation reservation– often thinks of herself as white.  It’s not our place as researchers or as investigators to say that either one is more or less “correct”– this is their lived experience and we should afford their feelings priority when we go to categorize them. But when *most* of the speakers at San Diego Speaks! are biracial and many are bilingual, what’s a researcher to do?

Well, although it’s far from perfect, for now we’re taking a “census view” of the people of San Diego and grouping them by sexuality and three very broad ethnic groups (based on the demographics of San Diego neighborhoods and on what people have told us in interviews). The colored symbols next to the names correspond to the colors in the map above and to the colors and symbols we use when we visualize these speakers as “data points” in our research reports.

::Women:: Sadie, Joan, Kat || Four, Shark
::Men:: Valjean, Cbo, Sam, Narwhal || Kent, Jacob, Troy

::WHITE (Anglo, Mediterranean) :: Joan, Four, Shark, Valjean, Cbo, Kent, Kat?
::BROWN (Latinos, Filipinos, American Indian):: Narwhal, Sadie, Jacob, Kat
::BLACK (African American, Vietnamese?, Thai?):: Sam, Troy