Martynenko I.A. Hispanic Place Names of Jamaica: Diachronic Aspect


Irina A. Martynenko

Candidate of Sciences (Philology), Associate Professor, English Language Department, Kutafin Moscow State Law University (MSAL),

Sadovaya-Kudrinskaya St, 9, 125993 Moscow, Russia

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Abstract. Spanish components in the toponymy of the state of Jamaica are semiotic markers of the Spanish culture in this region that are presented in peculiar cartographic forms of the Spanish language. The variety of forms of geographical names under study indicates the clash of civilizations, points to heterogeneity of language contacts and multitude of lexical resources of the local toponymic system. The article presents the results of an integrated linguistic analysis with the aim to describe Jamaican Spanish toponymic units and examine their current functioning with consideration of language contacts with English and other languages. Over 300 place names of the region were identified and analyzed at the micro- and macrotoponymic levels. Using the method of thorough sampling, the units with a Spanish component, amounting to a fourth of all the studied toponyms, were identified, their structure and etymology were described. Hypotheses about the origin of some Hispanic geographical names of the region are put forward and verified. Numerous examples of Hispanic place names reflect the historical processes that influenced the birth of toponymic nominations in this multinational region from the times of Columbus to the present day. The structural and chronological criteria were taken into consideration while developing a classification of Hispanic place names of Jamaica.

Key words: Jamaica, toponymy, place name, Spanish, English, linguoculturology.

Citation. Martynenko I.A. Hispanic Place Names of Jamaica: Diachronic Aspect. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 2. Yazykoznanie [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. Linguistics], 2020, vol. 19, no. 6, pp. 123-133. (in Russian). DOI:

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