Scala - Recursion of an anonymous function

I'm working through the scala labs stuff and I'm building out a function that will, in the end, return something like this: tails(List(1,2,3,4)) = List(List(1,2,3,4), List(2,3,4), List(3,4), List(4), List())

I got this working by using two functions and using some recursion on the second one.

def tails[T](l: List[T]): List[List[T]] = {
    if ( l.length > 1 )trailUtil(List() ::: List(l))
    else List() ::: List(l);

def trailUtil[T](l:List[List[T]]) : List[List[T]] = {
    if ( l.last.length == 0)l
    else trailUtil(l :+ l.last.init);

This is all good a great but it's bugging me that I need two functions to do this. I tried switching: trailUtil(List() ::: List(l)) for an anonymous function but I got this error type mismatch; found :List[List[T]] required:Int from the IDE.

val ret : List[List[T]] = (ll:List[List[T]]) => {
    if ( ll.last.length == 0) ll else ret(ll :+ ll.last.init)
ret(List() ::: List(1))

Could someone please point me to what I am doing wrong, or a better way of doing this that would be great.

(I did look at this SO post but the different type are just not working for me):


What about this:

def tails[T](l: List[T]): List[List[T]] = 
  l match {
    case h :: tail => l :: tails(tail)
    case Nil => List(Nil)

And a little bit less idiomatic version:

def tails[T](input: List[T]): List[List[T]] =
        input :: tails(input.tail)

BTW try to avoid List.length, it runs in O(n) time.

UPDATE: as suggested by tenshi, tail-recursive solution:

@tailrec def tails[T](l: List[T], init: List[List[T]] = Nil): List[List[T]] =
    l match {
        case h :: tail => tails(tail, l :: init)
        case Nil => init

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