河 isn't listed as suffix

This is a very minor thing, but

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I’m sorry, but shouldn’t “Suffix” be added to the “Part of Speech” section?

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I’m not completely sure about it because I don’t know what’s already in the ‘Part of Speech’ section, but I think parts of speech are the names we give to words based on their grammatical functions (e.g. adjective, noun, verb, adverb). Being a suffix isn’t a grammatical function, it’s… well, I don’t know the linguistic term, but it’s part of word formation, not grammar. For instance, in the word ‘ending’, ‘-ing’ is a suffix that turns a verb into a noun referring to the process described by the verb. ‘Ending’ is a noun, which is a type of part of speech, but ‘-ing’ doesn’t have a class. Put another way, when I looked ‘part of speech’ up, it was defined as a ‘a category to which a word is assigned’ (it’s also called ‘word class’), but a suffix like ‘-ing’ isn’t a word. Similarly, in Japanese, a suffix like -られる (one of the passive/potential endings) isn’t a word on its own. See what I mean?

Edit: I think the idea here is that, since 河 is a noun, and also a ‘suffix for rivers’, we should expect river names ending in 河 to also be nouns. But again, I think ‘suffix’ doesn’t match the definition of ‘part of speech’. It’s a type of word component, not a type of word.

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No? I don’t know of any definition or classifications of ‘parts of speech’ that includes ‘suffix’ or the broader category heading of ‘affix’. It’s part of speech is simply noun.

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Yes, but, for example, 〜様 is described as

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Also, speaking of very minor inconsitencies,

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In other words, 女優 can be both noun and の adjective, but 男優 can only be noun…

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OK, in that case, you have every reason to ask the question. Guess someone needs to straighten all that out if possible (even though it’s minor, like you said).

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jisho.org lists suffix as part of speech for some words. 過ぎる is an example.

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I see. That’s interesting. At the risk of no longer being relevant to WaniKani though, here’s an example of what comes up when I search ‘suffix part of speech’: https://msu.edu/~defores1/gre/sufx/gre_suffx.htm
It’s a page explaining how one can recognise different parts of speech based on a suffix. However, the suffixes are not called a ‘part of speech’.

What I’m getting at is that ‘suffix’ doesn’t fit the technical definition of ‘part of speech’. I’m not saying that it shouldn’t be listed as a function: for 過ぎる, it’s very important to know that it can act as an adjective suffix. It’s just that the ‘technically correct’ way to list it would probably be something like ‘part of speech & other functions’.

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This web page is about suffixes in English. Suffixes are not part of speech in English. They are just patterns to recognize similarly functioning words. In Japanese many suffixes are words in themselves that determine grammatical constructions. This is a totally different type of suffixes. These suffixes deserve to be considered ‘part of speech’, I think, because ‘suffix’ is a description of how some words are used.

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Suffix as a category doesn’t really belong in parts of speech. Words that are used as suffixes already have categories they belong to - as @Jonapedia pointed out, you’re attaching things which are already words. That’s more like creating compound words in my book. We don’t call “street” a suffix, or “river” a prefix in English, and that seems a better analogy than actual suffixes.

Ultimately, none of that really matter though - WK is not a linguistics course. As long as the labeling is consistent, that a word is often used like a ‘suffix’ is helpful a to know.

I agree completely that suffixes in Japanese are very often (though not always) complete words in and of themselves. I’m just saying, like @denzo, that ‘suffix’ isn’t a ‘part of speech’. A ‘part of speech’, if I’m not wrong, is more accurately the syntactic function of a word in a sentence i.e. what the word does in the sentence, which also determines where it should go in the sentence and affects the overall order of words in a sentence. For example, a verb in any language is an action word of some sort, and in Japanese in particular, it usually appears at the end of a sentence. This is a definition that holds true across languages. (It’s definitely possible that my definition is wrong though, because I’m not claiming to be a grammar and syntax expert.)

A ‘suffix’, however, is just a part of a word. It can be a word in and of itself, depending on the language. In English, like you said, they are usually not full words. In Japanese, they can be, like the example (河) @trunklayer gave in the beginning. However, being a ‘suffix’ doesn’t determine where 河 goes in a sentence: it determines where it goes in a word, which is to say at the end. Also, when 河 (which is also written as 川) is used in a word as a suffix, the whole block becomes a word; 河 itself is just transformed into a part of the bigger word. For example, the Colorado River is called コロラド川 in Japanese. You’re right: 川/河 is a word by itself, but here, コロラド can’t function on its own, because it’s just a prefix (in Japanese) referring to the Colorado state. It’s only together that they form a word. That word is コロラド川, which has a part of speech, which is called ‘noun’.

At the end of the day, I absolutely agree with you on one thing:

The fact that these words are ‘suffixes’ deserves to be mentioned, because it’s important, like you said, to know how these words are used. It really should be listed on the kanji information sheet/flashcard so that we can all learn it. However, it’s just that ‘suffix’, ‘prefix’ and so on are technically not ‘parts of speech’. The problem here is that the term ‘part of speech’ was chosen to label that section in the kanji entry. It’s just a linguistic technicality, nothing more. In fact, it’s because I felt it was important to state these things that I proposed that the section be labelled, for the sake of linguistic correctness and so that we would know which words are suffixes or prefixes, as follows:

…because unfortunately, the phrase ‘part of speech’ is very technical and limiting. It’s like how in the phrase 「超うけるんですけど」= ‘it’s super funny’, I would very much like to say うける is an adjective meaning ‘funny’, but the problem is that it doesn’t fit the definition of ‘adjective’ – it’s a verb. After all is said and done, I do not want ‘suffix’ to be removed from the ‘part of speech’ section in kanji entries. In fact, I’d much rather it be added everywhere, because it’s useful, and that, perhaps, the title of the section be changed. However, that’s ultimately up to the WaniKani and Jisho staff to decide.

I just want to point out one thing:

Many Japanese suffixes do this I think. They have to appear at the end of a verb or an i-adjective, both of which must be conjugated according to certain rules that are specific to the suffix. They can turn an i-adjective into a verb or a verb into an i-adjective, both of which may be conjugated accordingly. The new verb or adjective must be placed in the sentence accordingly as well. These suffixes modify the syntactic function of words.

I have to disagree. The Japanese language has the capability to create new words by concatenating existing words. No such capability exist in English so the analogy does not apply. In Japanese there are rules on how you create new words. You cannot cobble together any words you want. You have to append words that belong to the category of suffixes. Hence the category must be recognized as a part of speech. I mean the syntax of the language specifies how you create new words and you need the category to tell what the syntax is.

But we do it all the time! There’s even a wikipedia page on it.

I get where you’re coming from, and I’m not really qualified to argue this properly but…
As i understand it, the term “part of speech” classifies words based on how they behave within a sentence, whereas a suffix operates on a word. The scope is different.
If you use a suffix to create a new word, you have a new word that may or may not be a different part of speech. Of course, none of this prevents a word being used as a suffix, but that’s kind of orthogonal.

Anyway, this argument is unnecessarily pedantic and the term is outdated anyway…
@trunklayer sorry for wading into your thread :pray:
Edit: sorry forgot the mandatory apology kitten

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I see what you have in mind. I am afraid we are not talking about the same thing. In Japanese we can make new words on the fly by following certain rules. This is not the same as compound words in English. In Japanese the syntax of the language accounts for this capability while in English compound words are not made by syntactic means.

Blockquote
As i understand it, the term “part of speech” classifies words based on how they behave within a sentence , whereas a suffix operates on a word .

I think this is where we disagree.I am not an expert but I believe the term part of speech refers to the syntax as a whole and not just the building of a sentence. In Japanese there is syntax on how you build some words and we need a part of speech to account for this.

I’m always curious when の Adjective is listed as a part of speech. Isn’t の just the possessive particle used to connect nouns? So aren’t all nouns equally “の adjectives”? Or are there some that are more than others?

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If I remember correctly, there are some adjectives that can only be used with の, and that can’t be used on their own as nouns.

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As promised, this post has been collapsed. Feel free to read it if it interests you, however.

3300+ words on the definition of 'part of speech'=品詞(ひんし) in English and in Japanese (includes Japanese dictionary definition translation)

@trunklayer I apologise to you (and to everyone else concerned) for over-complicating this thread over such a simple matter. If the disagreement continues, I will voluntarily leave this thread and perhaps simply admit that I am wrong (even though the dictionary says I am not) so that it can be closed/re-oriented towards more fruitful discussion. @denzo Thank you for your input. I appreciate it. As far as I have been able to see from my own reading in dictionaries, your interpretation is correct. I apologise for choosing to make one last effort on my behalf and on yours, because I feel the need to do the term ‘part of speech’ justice. To everyone about to read this post, be forewarned: it will probably be extremely long. I promise to edit it into a ‘hide details’ section once it has been read by those concerned. Now then, I will attempt to clarify the fundamental misunderstanding that has led to this rather over-extended discussion…

@prouleau I do not in any way desire to be rude. However, you have repeatedly ignored attempts by myself and by other users to put forward the relevant definitions. It is possible that we are misunderstanding each other: that is, maybe I have an incorrect understanding of your intentions, and you have an incorrect understand of mine. From your posts and your username, I have the impression that English is not your native language. My guess is that your native language is French. If so, as it happens, I am fluent in French. If you so desire, I will engage you in French so that this discussion will be easier for both of us to understand. I am also willing to translate all posts from French into English if necessary so that the wider community will be able to understand what is going on. If, however, that is not the case, then I would like to apologise for my limited fluency in other languages, as I am only fully proficient in English, French, and Chinese, and will thus be unable to engage you in your native language.

It seems that our disagreement stems from two things: 1. different definitions of the term ‘part of speech’ and 2. the relevance and meaning of this term in Japanese vis-à-vis its meaning in English. I would like to tackle both of these things at once, first by explaining what I meant by my earlier posts, and then by taking definitions of the terms from qualified sources like English and Japanese dictionaries, which should know far more about this than me or you.

Possible misunderstandings so far

Summary: In this section, I attempt to clarify what may have gone wrong in our discussion so far, and also demonstrate that I have some knowledge of the ‘syntactic processes’ through which Japanese forms new words thanks to being a fluent speaker of Chinese, which uses similar processes.

1st Misunderstanding

You are indeed correct that many Japanese suffixes ‘modify the syntactic function of words’. As you may have noticed when looking at the list of English suffixes I sent previously, that is what many English suffixes do as well. However, as we have both agreed, English suffixes are not parts of speech, whereas, according to you, Japanese suffixes are. I will come back to your viewpoint in the next section. For now, however, I would like to focus on what you said in the quote above, and on its relevance to what I said in my post (which you quoted). I said, ‘A “part of speech”, if I’m not wrong, is more accurately the syntactic function of a word in a sentence.’ I then went on to explain what a ‘function of a word’ is by starting the next phrase with ‘i.e.’. I did not say that a ‘part of speech’ is an object that does something in particular (say something called ‘XYZ’). I said that a part of speech ‘is the syntactic function of a word’. That is, a part of speech = a function, which has a name. A knife, for instance, has a function whose name is ‘cutting’. However, a knife, which does the cutting, is not a function. That is the difference here. In other words,
What I said: X does Y. X is a word. Y is a part of speech – the part of speech of X.
How you interpreted it and responded: B also does Y. Therefore B is Y, so B is a part of speech.

This is our first fundamental misunderstanding. I think you can see why what you said is different from my definition. However, upon reading it for a second time, I have realised that my definition was unclear and partly incorrect. It should instead have read:
X does Y. X is a word. Y is its function. Words that do Y are grouped into a category called Z. Z is the part of speech of X.

I would like to apologise for my lack of precision. I will provide three precise definitions of ‘part of speech’ later: one from Oxford (for the English definition), one from Jisho or another popular online EN-JP dictionary (for the Japanese translation), and one from a Japanese dictionary called スーパー大辞林 published by 三省堂, a popular dictionary publisher (for the Japanese definition of the translation of ‘part of speech’).

2nd Misunderstanding

Moving on to the next misunderstanding, you said, after being told that English and Japanese both are capable of creating compound words, and after being given some illustrations via Wikipedia:

First and foremost, you yourself have said it: new ‘words’ are formed each time a suffix is used. As @denzo said, only words belong to a part of speech, like ‘noun’, ‘verb’ or ‘adjective’. ‘Suffix’ is not a category of ‘words’ because it contains elements that are not words, such as ~られる, which is a passive/potential verb suffix that cannot be used on its own. I will explain this fully in the next section if it is still not clear why ‘suffix’ is not a ‘part of speech’ by definition.

Secondly, what you said about English compound words ‘not being made by syntactic means’ is unclear and, based on my understanding of what you’ve said (which is that ‘In Japanese there are rules on how you create new words. You cannot cobble together any words you want.’), incorrect. I said I was not an expert on grammar and syntax. I did not say I was utterly ignorant of it. As a fluent speaker of Chinese, I can tell you that Japanese often forms compound words in exactly the same way as Chinese does, with the only difference being that Japanese needs to explicitly change word endings, whereas Chinese word classes are implicitly defined, so I know all about the rules that you referred to, even though you did not provide any illustrations. Again, like I said, I have the impression that English is not your native language, so perhaps your comment was due to a lack of experience with English compound words. I will now attempt to provide you with a few examples, taken from the Wikipedia page that was sent to you in @denzo’s last message. (Side note: If French really is your native language, one example off the top of my head: “gratte-ciel” is made up of a verb and a noun. It is invariable as a result, which shows how the type of syntax involved changes how words and constructed. Similarly, Japanese has certain compounds that are verb-noun compounds. I will include at least one such example in what follows.)

If your assertion is true, in English, there are no clear rules about what words can be ‘concatenated’ to form new words, unlike in Japanese. As such, if I change the order of the constituent words while maintaining the word class of each constituent word in any of the compound words listed on Wikipedia, I should be able to get a new compound word instantly. I will attempt to do that with a few pertinent examples:

breakwater (verb + noun)=a wall built into the sea to protect the coast -> waterbreak (noun + verb): This should still be a verb. It could perhaps mean ‘to break water (into something else)’, but frankly, it makes no sense in English at all, and does not exist. Water break (noun + noun), on the other hand, is something that exists, and means ‘a break for drinking water’.

snow white (noun + adjective)=as white as snow -> white snow (adjective + noun): this is not a compound word at all. It is a phrase that describes some snow, saying that it is white.

tumbledown (verb + adverb)=dilapidated (adjective) -> downtumble (adverb+verb): this isn’t a valid compound word in English either. It could be a verb meaning ‘to tumble in a downward direction’, but that already exists as the phrasal verb ‘tumble down’.

Now then, to illustrate that I have an idea of what I’m talking about in Japanese, here are two compounds that are shared by Chinese and Japanese. One will be a kanji compound; the other will be a compound verb. Their meanings may only be similar, and not identical, but I would like you to note that the units of meaning used are exactly the same:

騎馬(きば): the meaning – horseriding. The components: 騎 is a verb in Chinese. It means ‘to ride’. In Japanese, the same verb is 騎す, and it means exactly the same thing. In both languages, 馬=horse. The compound is thus a verb-noun compound, and you can see that the construction process is the same in Chinese and in Japanese.

思い出す in Japanese, and 想出 in Chinese (想う is another way of writing 思う, with a similar but slightly different meaning): 思い出す=‘to remember’ in Japanese. 想出=‘to come up with through thought’ in Chinese. 思う=‘to think’ and 出す=‘to cause to come out’ are verbs. So are 想=‘to think’ and 出=‘to come out/to produce’. Both literally mean ‘to think out’. They are both verb-verb compounds.

黄河(こうが): this is the Yellow River, a river referred to by both Japanese and Chinese texts. It’s a river in China. It is an adjective-noun compound. 黄=‘yellow’ in Chinese (and in Japanese, but only in compounds, since the colour itself is called 黄色). 河=‘river’ in both Japanese and Chinese. However, notice that the character 黄 on its own has nothing to do with rivers, and that in both Chinese and Japanese, 河 is a ‘suffix for rivers’.

Thus, like I said, I am familiar with the rules you are referring to, but I still don’t agree that suffixes are parts of speech. Why is that?

The definition of ‘part of speech’ in English AND in Japanese

English Definition of 'Part of Speech' & Conclusions Drawn

First of all, in English, according to the Oxford Dictionary of English (UK English), a ‘part of speech’ is defined as ‘a category to which a word is assigned in accordance with its syntactic functions. In English the main parts of speech are noun, pronoun, adjective, determiner, verb, adverb, preposition, conjunction, and interjection.’ As I have said before, a synonym for ‘part of speech’ is ‘word class’. (The Oxford Dictionary ‘Lexico’ website also contains a page discussing the different parts of speech in English, which you may wish to examine if it interests you.)

From the definition, we may note two things:

  1. A ‘part of speech’ is a ‘category’. It is therefore a collection of objects. It is not a function, as I imprecisely said earlier, nor is it something that performs a certain function, as you said.
  2. Only ‘word[s]’ are ‘assigned’ to ‘parts of speech’ aka word classes ‘in accordance with [their] syntactic functions’. Therefore, only things that qualify as ‘words’ (i.e. which can be used on their own) have a word class or ‘part of speech’.

As such, ‘suffix’ cannot be a part of speech according to the English definition because not all suffixes can stand on their own. This is in spite of the fact that English *does have standalone suffixes like ‘man’, which appears in ‘deliveryman’, ‘fireman’, ‘ombudsman’ and so on.

However, as you have claimed, in Japanese, suffixes are ‘different’ and thus should be included as a category of words i.e. as a ‘part of speech’, even though not all suffixes are words. Very well, let’s see what the Japanese themselves say about it. What is the Japanese definition of a ‘part of speech’?

According to Jisho.org, which also sometimes states that words below to the word class (aka ‘part of speech’) called ‘suffix’, the translation of ‘part of speech’ is 品詞(ひんし). Thus, we now need to examine the Japanese definition of 品詞 in order to understand it.

Japanese Definition of 品詞 & Conclusions Drawn

According to スーパー大辞林, which is published by 三省堂 (Sanseido), 品詞 refers to
「単語を文法上の形態・機能・意味などの上から分類した区分け。国文法では,現在一般に,名詞・代名詞・動詞・形容詞・形容動詞・連体詞・副詞・接続詞・感動詞・助動詞・助詞などがあげられる。ただし,形容動詞を認めるか否かなど,いくつの品詞にするかという点については,若干の異同がある。」

I will attempt to translate this. Forgive me for any mistakes: I am not yet fully fluent in Japanese, and will need to refer to an EN-JP dictionary in order to translate certain words. I believe this definition says
‘A classification made by sorting words based on their grammatical form, their function, their meaning and so on. In national grammar (NB: this refers to the grammar of Japanese, which is called 国語 by the Japanese), right now, normally, nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adjectival verbs (NB: like 偉大なる), prenominal adjectives (NB: like この、その and 或る), adverbs, conjunctions, exclamations, auxiliary verbs (NB: like いる、もらう and あげる), particles and the like are cited. However, on the subject of the number of parts of speech that should be fixed, for instance, [as regards] whether or not adjectival verbs should be recognised [as parts of speech], a few differences exist.’

As you may have noticed, in this near-exhaustive list of Japanese parts of speech, ‘suffix’ (which is variously called 接尾辞、接尾詞 or 接尾語 according to Jisho.org ) is in no way mentioned by the dictionary. You may also have noticed that nothing that is not a word has been mentioned, with perhaps the exception of 助詞 (particles), which are nonetheless standalone elements in Japanese sentences. No element that is unable to perform a grammatical function on its own has been mentioned.

Conclusion

"Part of speech'=品詞 is a term referring only to categories containing words, and nothing else.

In summary, a ‘part of speech’ is also called a ‘word class’, and thus only applies to ‘words’. It is a type of ‘category’ that only contains words, and nothing else. Thus, by definition, ‘suffix’ is not a ‘part of speech’, because it is a category of word elements that contains not only words, but also bits and pieces of words like 〜られる、〜える、〜たら、〜かった and the like. This is made clear by both the English and Japanese definitions of ‘part of speech’=品詞, which both state that ‘parts of speech’ are categories containing words=単語. Finally, even if you feel that my interpretation of the definitions are incorrect, both sources (Oxford Dictionary and 大辞林), in particular the Japanese one, do not include ‘suffixes’, prefixes or anything like them in their examples of ‘parts of speech’=品詞. I hope it is now clear that all we were arguing about was definitions, which could very easily have been checked in order to be clear about what we were discussing. Again, I repeat, hopefully for the very last time: I agree with you, the function of 河 as a ‘suffix’ is extremely important, and it should be listed in a dictionary entry. However, ‘part of speech’ is not at all and by no means the correct term to use to refer to it. The simplest word we can use to refer to ‘suffix’, in my opinion, is ‘function’ or ‘role’. Hence why I suggested that the section be re-titlted ‘part of speech & OTHER FUNCTIONS’.

Final note to @prouleau and my honest feelings

I have done my utmost to remain civil and polite throughout this post, but I would like to be VERY HONEST right now: I feel almost insulted by the fact that you repeatedly ignored the fact that people were trying to politely hint at the fact that the concept of ‘part of speech’ might be different from what you thought, and that it seems you refused to check the definition on your own in order to understand why we were so confused. I spent two hours typing this post in the hope that I would be able to help you understand our point of view and your misunderstanding. I hope you appreciate it, consider what I have said seriously, and do not take offence. Thank you.

To all those who have taken the trouble to read my little treatise on what exactly a ‘part of speech’ is in English and in Japanese, thank you for your patience. I beg you, if you ever find yourself in such a discussion, please do yourself and your interlocutors a favour by checking the definition of the terms being used in the discussion. If it is not sufficiently clear, I will get down on my knees before this computer monitor in order to better implore everyone reading this: please verify what you are talking about so we can all learn together and discuss meaningful things, instead of writing 3334 words over the course of 2h7min in order to clarify what something means. Thank you very much. 土下座:man_kneeling: :man_kneeling: :man_kneeling:土下座

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@Jonapedia
I didn’t want to insult anyone. I didn’t want to ignore the statements of others. I just have a different idea and I believe I am entitled to this. I tried to clarify my (different) opinion in a tone that I expected to be respectful. My sincere apologies for unwittingly offending you.

French is indeed my mother tongue. However I will keep using English out of respect for the English speaking majority here.

If a clarification is needed, my opinion started from the jisho entry for 過ぎる. They say it is an Ichidan verb, an intransitive verb and a suffix. It is also a word with its own dictionary entry and a keyword for a grammatical construct that attaches 過ぎる to another verb or adjective to create new meaning. English has no suffix like this. None of the examples that have been presented have convinced me to the contrary. I did not ignore them. I considered them and was unpersuaded. This is why I believe many Japanese suffixes are fundamentally different from English suffixes.

Thanks for researching the relevant definitions. They are informative. I was not aware that definitions were expected from me. I agree they are a useful contribution. Thanks again.

I see the Japanese definition does not list suffix as a part of speech. Given this definition I don’t know why jisho.org lists suffix in the 過ぎる dictionary entry. I expected that they would consider ‘suffix’ as a part of speech on a par with ‘Ichidan verb’, and ‘intransitive verb’. As I said the three are listed together. Given your research it appears that I was wrong.

I am not an expert on the topic therefore l will not argue any further. I will just crawl under my soapbox and leave things as they are.

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@prouleau Thank you. I accept your apology. You’re clearly a reasonable person. I only felt the need to write that post because it seemed the discussion would not move beyond the question of what a ‘part of speech’ is. Like I said in the post you originally replied to:

I was quite prepared to accept that WaniKani (and Jisho) listed ‘suffix’ as a ‘part of speech’ everywhere, because maybe that’s how their classification system works. However, I just wanted to point out that ‘suffix’ did not match the definitions that I had seen for ‘part of speech’. That’s all. Maybe I reacted the way I did because I felt that we can’t change the meaning of ‘part of speech’ since it’s already been defined by more authoritative sources.

At the end of the day, like @denzo said, it’s quite pedantic (i.e. lots of fussing over details) and like I said, it’s only ‘technically correct’. It would be fine if we had consistent labelling (e.g. ‘suffix’ as a ‘part of speech’ everywhere on Jisho and WaniKani). When learning languages, it’s a lot more important to know what ‘parts of speech’ (like nouns, verbs, adjectives and so on) do in sentences. The definition of ‘part of speech’ is just a technicality that usually isn’t very helpful for learning. For my part, I apologise for overreacting over a technicality (because even I recognise that it’s nothing more than that), and I hope I didn’t come across as pedantic, or worse, as pédant (in French). I’d also like to apologise if my post came across as insulting at any point.

In addition, I’m sorry if I’ve made you feel unwelcome on the forums, since this is the first thread you’ve posted on after all. You’re right: you’re entitled to have a different idea and different opinion. I wish I had come up with a clearer way of saying that I was just focusing on the technical definition, and nothing else. It might have been better if I had posted dictionary definitions right at the start, and said that that was how I was interpreting ‘part of speech’.

Like you, I’m a bit surprised that Jisho lists ‘suffix’ together with the rest for 過ぎる, but at least on the desktop browser version, that section isn’t labelled. It’s just a bunch of key features of the verb/word. However, I still think your idea is a good one: we should say that a word is ‘an Ichidan verb, an intransitive verb and a suffix’ all in the same section. Maybe the section can still be called ‘part of speech’, even if technically, not all those words fit the definition. Maybe ‘functions’ or ‘roles’. It’s really up to the people making the dictionary (on Jisho) or lesson (on WaniKani) content.

Speaking of 過ぎる, you’re also right that it’s a type of suffix that can’t be found in English. I can’t think of anything that comes close. We could combine a noun with a verb form to make a noun (e.g. ‘flower-watering’=‘the act of watering flowers’), but that noun can’t be conjugated (‘to flower-water’ isn’t a valid verb anyway), and English doesn’t require us to change the noun in some special way, whereas for 過ぎる, the adjective stem must be attached to the verb. In this sense, yes, I agree 100%: many Japanese suffixes are fundamentally different from English suffixes. That’s part of what makes learning Japanese so interesting, wouldn’t you agree?

In any case, I wish you the very best in learning Japanese. I think it took me quite a long time before I learnt how 過ぎる worked, so I believe you’re making good progress! I also hope you’ll find the forums useful and generally enjoyable to use. There are various book clubs and possibly anime clubs (I’m not so sure about ‘anime clubs’ because I haven’t seen one yet) if you’re interested, along with threads where people practise Japanese.

Guess it’s time for me to pack up my soapbox as well. Have a nice day! :grin:

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Interestingly, that pattern is generative in English though, even if it sounds a bit weird. I could go up to a random person on the street and use flower-watering or similar constructs as a verb, and they might look at me funny, but there’d be no confusion as to what I meant.

I think 過ぎる falls in a weird category. You can just as easily analyse something like 速すぎる as two words -速 (stem form) + 過ぎる (auxiliary? verb). I don’t think it needs to be treated as a suffix. Basically, words are a surprising poor (and ambiguous) way of breaking up sentences.

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