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Which of these two options would be considered most elegant / correct? Personally I think Sinicization (or Sinicisation) has a more natural ring to it, but I have seen Sinification used also.

Also, can anyone give an answer as to when either of these neologisms came into usage?

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3 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

This seems to point directly to Google Ngrams on those words to see what the rest of the (English speaking) world actually does:

Google Ngram comparison of sinifi-, sinici-

I added in the British English spelling, too.

Note that 'sinification' has the longer history, but recently 'sinici[z/s]ation' has become more popular.

To extract a data of word creation from these graphs is a bit iffy; you'd really need to check all the occurrences in the links from that site.

The veribifiers '-ize/-ise' and '-ify' are both productive. I can't seem to tell a pattern in the contexts where one is favored over the other, except that if you're starting with an adjective ending in '-ic', the '-ize/-ise' sounds way better.

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+1 for having an ngram lol –  Garet Claborn May 19 '11 at 14:11
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Well most of these words seem to use the ise/ize form, e.g.:

  • Anglicisation/Anglicization
  • Germanisation/Germanization
  • Arabisation/Arabization

There's Russification of course, but I think this is irregular simply because the word Russicisation is rather clumsy.

So, I would go with Sinicisation/Sinicization by default.

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+1 Also agree that more socioeconomic/political terms have a tendency to use -ization. –  Garet Claborn May 19 '11 at 13:51
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Looking at these, both suffixes are very similar. I looked into the meaning of each which are also rather similar. That said, it seems that '-ization'leans more toward changing from one to another where as '-cation' can more often be in an originating process such as fabrication.

Definition of -FICATION from Your Dictionary.com

  1. Production; making.

Origin: Latin -ficātiō, -ficātiōn-, from -ficātus, past participle of -ficāre, to make, from -ficus, -fic.


Definition of -IZE from Merriam-Webster

  1. : cause to be or conform to or resemble : cause to be formed into (2) : subject to a (specified) action (3) : impregnate or treat or combine with b : treat like c : treat according to the method of

  2. : become : become like b : be productive in or of : engage in a (specified) activity c : adopt or spread the manner of activity or the teaching of

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+1 Good answer. There are quite a lot of other examples where -fication is used for change rather than production though - e.g. beautification (neologism though), beatification, petrification, calcification etc. –  UpTheCreek May 19 '11 at 14:02
    
Thanks. I should have thought of those alchemy terms!! I had a hard time finding solid definitions for these ;P –  Garet Claborn May 19 '11 at 14:10
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