I know from my dictionary that 病気がち means "proneness to being ill". 病気 just means illness, so where does the がち come from?
My research so far: I think がち might be the ます-stem of the verb 勝つ. The dictionary supports this hypothesis as it lists 勝ち as a suffix meaning "apt to do; tend to do (used to describe a negative tendency)". It also lists 涙勝ち as an "archaism" for "prone to crying" which further supports my hypothesis.
I have the following questions:
- Is 勝つ really the origin of がち in 病気がち?
- Why is a very positive verb such as 勝つ used to describe "being prone to something" in a negative way?
- Are there any other examples of 勝つ being used in a negative way?
- Are there any similar commonly used words ending in 勝ち?