The tag is used, while "causative" is merely a synonym. However, doing a search for the word "causative" gets 223 matches, while "causation" gets 20 (there's also four matches for the misspelling "causitive"). Why is "causation" used?

The wiki says

使役. Japanese has a causative morpheme -(s)ase-, which turns verbs into causative verbs. Japanese also has a number of lexical causative verbs, as well.

Is the issue that "causative" doesn't mean anything itself, and if we made the tag name complete, we'd end up with two tags, such as "causative-morpheme" and "causative-verbs"?

1 Answer 1


Causative does mean something, but it's an adjective, so you're right – on its own it feels a little incomplete. Tags should tell us what a question is about, and I usually prefer tags that have the form of a noun phrase, so that we can say something like:

This question is about causation.

So right now, we have the noun form causation, which refers to the same general idea but can stand on its own. There are plenty of other possibilities we could use:

  • - the semantic quality expressed by causative verbs
  • - the grammatical forms which express causation
  • - causation is expressed on verbs, so this works as well
  • - same as above, but less specific

The tag is intended to cover both lexical and morphological causative forms. I think any of these tags could probably do the job, but of the choices I've listed above, "causative verbs" might be the best.

What do you think? I can rename the tag if the community agrees.

  • I'm probably not the best person to ask - I just learnt about causative forms today!
    – Golden Cuy
    Commented Jan 6, 2018 at 12:23
  • 2
    Well, we can take "What do you think?" as an open invitation to the rest of the community to comment, then :-)
    – user1478
    Commented Jan 6, 2018 at 12:32

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