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What is the etymology of the suffix(?)たがい in 仲たがい and how is it used to express discord? If this is a suffix as such, is it used in combination with any other words?

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The たがい in 仲たがい is another, rarer pronunciation of 違い (usually pronounced ちがい), a noun meaning "difference". This is not to be confused with 互い, which has the same pronunciation. 仲 has the general meaning of "relationship", and is the same character from 仲良し ("close friend").

So overall we have a compound noun:

仲 - relationship
違い - difference

meaning differences (ie disagreements) in a relationship causing discord.

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Just to add my two cents, 違い and 互い having the same pronunciation is not a coincidence. They were etymologically the same word! –  Tsuyoshi Ito Apr 22 '12 at 12:24
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What is the etymology of the suffix(?)たがい in 仲たがい

The etymology is tagapi > tagaɸi > tagawi > tagai. It is the nominal form of the verb taga-u (違う). As such, suffix is not the appropriate word. As a verb, there was the expression 仲を違う (naka wo tagau). This is the source of the compound 仲違い (nakatagai). This taga-u and tiga-u (or chiga-u if you like) are related. taga-u is the older verb and is essentially replaced by tiga-u.

and how is it used to express discord?

ジョン answers this sufficiently.

If this is a suffix as such, is it used in combination with any other words?

There are other compounds which include tagai. They include:

  • 人違い (hitotagai)
  • 門違い (kadotagai)
  • 片違い (katatagai)
  • 方違い (katatagai)
  • 聞き違い (kikitagai)
  • 心違い (kokorotagai)
  • 思い違い (omoitagai)

All of these are old and unlikely to used much in modern Japanese. If you are into history, there is the 角違一揆 (kadotagai ikki) riot of 1346 in Bungo.

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角違一揆-- isn't it read as かくちがいいっき? –  Chocolate Apr 22 '12 at 4:57
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No, I intentionally wrote. Shōgakkan. They may wish to spell their name in English as Shogakukan, but in Japanese it is しょうがっかん, so it is romanized as Shōgakkan. See here for example: worldcat.org/title/nihon-rekishi-daijiten/oclc/… Or here for a better example contrasting the Japanese and English: worldcat.org/title/… –  Dono Apr 22 '12 at 6:13
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Oh~~ haha OK I see. But we normally write it as しょうがくかん not as しょうがっかん when we write it in hiragana ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E5%B0%8F%E5%AD%A6%E9%A4%A8 –  Chocolate Apr 22 '12 at 6:18
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That is a difference between spelling and pronunciation. I have been to 小学館 a few times and know a few editors there. It is pronounced ショーガッカン (ɕoːgakkaɴ). –  Dono Apr 22 '12 at 6:29
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Haha I know, just like せんたくき or せんたっき for 洗濯機? detail.chiebukuro.yahoo.co.jp/qa/question_detail/q119679806 –  Chocolate Apr 22 '12 at 8:05
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