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The original and useful research tool

A first interaction with the CTD allows to:

  • Find quickly one or more toponyms,
  • Discover in which works it has been used,
  • Know the various hypotheses of identification,
  • Compare geographical descriptions contained in the different works,
  • Highlight differences or similarities,
  • Obtain reference to the original Chinese text,
  • Read the English translation, where possible.

At a second stage of consultation, the CTD will allow:

  • to compare the use of the same toponym in several sections in the same work;
  • to compare the use of the same toponym in several works, extrapolating the differences and similarities;
  • to study the diachronic evolution of the toponym on several levels: understand if the same toponym has always identified the same territory over the centuries; understand with how many toponyms the same territory has been mentioned, both synchronously (in the same work) and diachronically (in several works over several centuries);
  • to investigate the influence that the toponym has had in later works: the same toponym can be found in different works always with the same peculiarities;
  • to investigate the possible presence of loanwords from other languages: the toponym may derive from another language, as a semantic loan, coined on the basis of the language of the territory that it identifies;
  • to investigate the ethnographic knowledge of the Chinese over several centuries and how it increased thanks to the development of the rich trade and merchant routes during the Song, Yuan and Ming dynasties;
  • to compare the descriptions of a given territory in several works, underlining the growth in the amount and in the reliability of information.