Sinosphere

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Description:
Sinosphere (), a term coined by linguist James Matisoff, is a grouping of countries and regions that are currently inhabited with a majority of Chinese population or were historically under heavy Chinese cultural influence.

It is commonly used in areal linguistics to contrast with Indosphere, which refers to the cultures and languages influenced by proximity to India.

The terms Chinese cultural sphere and Chinese character cultural sphere are used interchangeably with "Sinosphere" but have different denotations. Chinese cultural sphere denotes a grouping of countries, regions, and people which have participated in or been heavily influenced by the Culture of China, such as Tibet or Sichuan. Countries such as Japan or Viet Nam which did in the past or do now use the Chinese writing system denote the other sense.

Origins

This cultural region closely corresponds to the ancient "Sinic civilization" and its descendants, the "Far Eastern civilizations" (the Mainland and the Japanese ones), which Arnold J. Toynbee presented in the 1930s in "A Study of History", along with the Western, Islamic, Eastern Orthodox, Indic, etc. civilizations, among the major "units of study" of the world's history.See the "family tree" of Toynbee's "civilizations" in any edition of Toynbee's own work, or e.g. as Fig.1 on p.16 of: "The Rhythms of History: A Universal Theory of...
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