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甲斐{がい} seems to have the property where it conjugates with the 連用形 of verbs unlike most nouns with which verbs typically attach with the 終止形. i.e you say 生き甲斐 instead of 生きる甲斐, やり甲斐 instead of やる甲斐. I imagine this is due to some relic of older Japanese, but I'm unsure what it is.

Thinking about it a bit for some other nouns that might do this, it seems that 損 might have this property as well.

Is there a name for nouns that work like this? And are there some other examples of nouns that do this?

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    Not sure what the formal name is, but one of the most obvious examples might be 方. 生き方、歩き方, etc. 際 also works this way. 帰り際 and so on. – Shurim Jan 16 at 2:44
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    ^「生き[方]{かた}」「歩き[方]{かた}」は言いますけど「生きる[方]{かた}」「歩く[方]{かた}」って言います? – Chocolate Jan 16 at 3:00
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    終止形より連体形と言った方が正確だと思います。まあ、現代ではほとんど同じですが。 – Angelos Jan 16 at 3:58
  • 焼き鳥、焼肉とかは入れたらダメですよね? – Chocolate Jan 16 at 4:03
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    Just to be clear... the question implies that やる甲斐 and 生きる甲斐 aren't possible, but that's not the case, right? Or was it meant to be "you can say 生き甲斐 in addition to being able to say 生きる甲斐". It's possible the nuance changes or something, though I suppose. – Leebo Jan 16 at 4:14
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How about 「接尾語になる名詞」 or 「複合語の後ろの要素になる名詞」, perhaps?

「教える[甲斐]{かい}」「教え[甲斐]{がい}」
「困ること」「困りごと」
「サボる[癖]{くせ}」「サボり[癖]{ぐせ}」
「置く場所」「置き場所」
「行く場」「行き場」
「送る先」「送り先」
「帰る道」「帰り道」
「食べる[時]{とき}」「食べ[時]{どき}」
「食べる物」「食べ物」
「座る順」「座り順」(← probably colloquial. maybe only used in Kansai?)
「死ぬ[様]{さま}」「死に[様]{ざま}」

etc... ??

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  • 「さすらい[人]{びと}」「送り[人]{びと}」「[狩(り)人]{かりうど}」とかはどうなんでしょう?「送り[火]{び}」とかは? – Chocolate Jan 16 at 4:01

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