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Sinic

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Sinic

Postby Slava » Sat Mar 19, 2011 8:51 pm

I just came across this word in a Christian Science Monitor article. I thought I knew that sino- and such prefixes referred to China. Not here.

The author writes of the "Asian or Sinic “Tiger” countries (Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, and South Korea)." I felt it was odd.

Anyone care to comment?
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Postby bnjtokyo » Mon Mar 21, 2011 12:21 am

The 1913 Webster Dictionary apparently defined "sinic" as "Of or pertaining to the Chinese and allied races" and the Wiktionary's second definition is "influenced by Chinese culture." Depending on how we understand "allied" (let's ignore the "races" part, it was 1913) and "influenced," the usage cited is not impossible, but out of the main stream.
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Postby Slava » Mon Mar 21, 2011 1:25 am

I agree on the out of the mainstream sentiment. So far out that it grates.
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Postby Audiendus » Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:39 am

I think Sinic is a concise way of saying "Chinese or Chinese-related". The "Chinese/Sinic" distinction seems a useful specific/generic one, like Spanish/Hispanic, French/Gallic, and German/Germanic (or Teutonic).

With some pairs, of course, there is no real distinction, one word being merely a poetic (often Latin-derived) alternative of the other, e.g. Scottish/Caledonian, Swiss/Helvetian/Helvetic.
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