Distinction between Sinophone and Sinosphere by Victor H. Mair

Professor Victor H. Mair recently engaged in a thought-provoking discussion of the distinction between Sinophone and Sinophere on the Language Log. He said “I’ve been in the thick of the Sinophone revolution and have mentioned it several times on Language Log (e.g., here), but now I’ve become acquainted with another new term, ‘Sinosphere,’ and wonder how they are related.”

Regarding the origins of Sinophone, Professor Mair commented that “Within the last ten years or so, the concept of ‘Sinophone’ (obviously modeled on ‘Francophone,’ ‘Anglophone’, etc.) has come to be very much in vogue.  To the best of my knowledge, the term was coined by UCLA professor Shu-mei Shih, but it was soon picked up by many other scholars and quickly became one of the hottest topics of discussion in Chinese studies.” Learn what Sinosphere means and how it differs from Sinophone by reading the rest of Professor Mair’s post.

See also forthcoming titles on Sinophone studies: Confucian Prophet:  Political Thought In Du Fu’s Poetry (752–757) by David K. Schneider and Rethinking Chineseness:  Translational Sinophone Identities in the Nanyang Literary World by E. K. Tan.

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