TROPICAL GEOGRAPHY ›› 2016, Vol. 36 ›› Issue (6): 1045-1056.doi: 10.13284/j.cnki.rddl.002907

Previous Articles    

The Culture of Place Names of South China Sea Islands from the Cultural Ecology Perspective

ZHAO Jing1,ZHANG Zhengsheng2,CHEN Guanqi2,NAN Wenlong2   

  1. [1.Songshan Lake(Ecological Park)Campus of Tung Wah Senior High School,Dongguan 523000,China;2.School of Geography,South China Normal University,Guangzhou 510631,China]
  • Received:2015-11-29 Online:2016-11-05 Published:2016-11-05


As place names have rich cultural connotation, they have attracted more and more researchers. The South China Sea is a politically sensitive area in our country, considering its constant sovereign friction. In this point, research of cultural and historical evolution of the place names can provide strong evidence for safeguarding China’s sovereignty. In this study, based on the data about place names and the changes and evolution of the South China Sea Islands, we analyzed the book “Road Change Records” and place names data of the South China Sea Islands at different times using the text analysis method. Then the place names evolution was visualized using ArcGIS, and in-depth interviews with local fishermen and old captains were conducted. It was found that, the folk place names of South China Sea Islands were named mainly based on the natural geographical environment characteristics. The replacement and disappearing of place names was closely related to social and cultural environments. Most place names published in 1935 were the transliteration of English names, and the place name change in 1947 was mainly aimed to wiping off foreign elements and replace with beautification or memorial place names. There were few changes in the place names published in 1983 compared with the standard names published in 1947. Of the 118 place names, 39 were new names which had not been published before, and almost all of them were adopted from the folk place names given by fishermen.

Key words: cultural ecology, the culture of place name, the South China Sea Islands