Contribution of Linguistic Information from Stone Tablet, Antithetical Couplets and Horizontal Boards to Form Image of Cultural Heritage Destination in Malaysia

Authors: Wong Ling Yann (Universiti Putra Malaysia, Malaysia)
Speakers: Wong Ling Yann
Strand: Language, Community, Ethnicity
Session Type: General Session


The main goal of this field work is to investigate linguistic information and cultural meanings from the stone tablet and antithetical couplets are placed in the Sin Sze Si Ya Temple which is well known as one of the ancient Chinese folk cultural temple located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. As one of the historic folk religious destinations, the Sin Sze Si Ya Temple has been honored as a national cultural heritage by the Malaysia Cultural Heritage Board in 2019. This historic temple built up by the late Yap Ah Loy (1837-1885) who was the third Capitan of Kuala Lumpur in 1864, and it took almost 19 years to construct the whole temple. Inscription on the stone tablet to honor the pioneers of the temple, antithetical couplets are engraved on the pillars and front entrance of this destination, as well the horizontal boards are placed on the walls of the temple are rich in linguistic knowledge and cultural meanings for this study to further analyze and interpret how these research data can be used to reform the cultural image of this famous destination from the aspect of cultural linguistic studies. The model of destination image formation proposed by Baloglu and McCleary (1990) and various images of destination suggested by Tocquer and Zins (2004) are adapted by this study to link various linguistic knowledge found from this temple to reform and develop image destination of this temple. The inscription of the stone tablet provided the historical personages’ information of the Capitans or entrepreneurs who had contributed much to the development of Kuala Lumpur, included Yap Ah Loy (1837-1885), Yap Ah Shak (~ – 1889), Yap Kwang Seng (1846-1901), Chan Sow Lin (1845-1927), Chiew Yoke (1843-1892) and Loke Yew (1845-1917) during the period of Malayan governed by the British in the mid of 19th and the beginning of 20th centuries. The vocabulary are used to describe the contributions of these pioneers provided this study to investigate the linguistic features of Chinese language and how its cultural meanings in relation with development of folk culture in the Chinese local communities around the Kuala Lumpur city areas during that time. The Chinese rhyming sentences and phrases are engraved on the antithetical couplets and horizontal boards which placed on the pillars and walls of the temple also given rich information to this study to further investigate the image destination of this temple from the spirituality aspect.

Keywords: Image destination, folk culture, linguistic knowledge, cultural meaning, historical personage