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What is the type of word ~がかり, e.g 気{き}がかり

Is it noun, or adjective?

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Practically all monolingual dictionaries will label 「気がかり」 as both a [名詞]{めいし} and a [形容動詞]{けいようどうし}.

名詞: "noun"

形容動詞: "na-adjective" or "adjectival noun"

「Word X + + Noun」

If the phrase above makes sense, then Word X can be called a 形容動詞 according to Japanese "school grammar", which is the main school of grammar that is being taught to our children all over the country as I type this.

Just as 「きれい人 (a beautiful woman)」, 「[元気]{げんき}[子]{こ} (a perky kid)」 and 「[簡単]{かんたん}あいさつ (a brief greeting)」 make perfect sense, 「気がかりこと (a worrying matter)」 is grammatical and it makes perfect sense as well.

Accordingly, 「気がかり」 can certainly be called a 形容動詞 just as 「きれい」, 「元気」 and 「簡単」 can. Thus, your textbook is correct on this matter.

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  • That makes the most sense, seems noun & adjectival noun share a lot things in common. – user218867 Jan 10 '16 at 5:21
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It's the masu-form of the intransitive verb かかる (to relate, to concern, etc), used as a noun. 気がかり is a compound noun made of 気 (mind) + かかり (concerning).

This noun + masu-form pattern is very often seen in Japanese nouns. Just to name a few:

  • 綱引き (tug of war): 綱 (rope) + 引き (pulling)
  • 花見 (cherry-viewing): 花 (flower) + 見 (viewing)
  • 爪切り (nail clipper): 爪 (nail) + 切り (cutter)

I don't know whether the verbs in these words can be called suffixes, because most verbs can be turned into nouns in this way. But they function like a suffix, anyway.

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    I thought it's noun too. But, in a text book, 気がかり is said to be Adjectival noun, so I am still not sure about that ... – user218867 Jan 8 '16 at 8:50
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My Japanese dictionary says it's a suffix. Suffixes are called 接尾語 in Japanese.

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