ありがとう

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Japanese[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From ありがたく (arigataku), the adverbial form of Old Japanese adjective ありがたし (arigatashi, modern ありがたい, arigatai)[1][2][3]. The adjective itself is a compound of 有り (ari, stem form of verb 有る (aru), "to exist, to be") +‎ 難し (katashi, “hard, difficult”, katai in modern Japanese)[1][2][3]. The katashi changes to gatashi due to rendaku (連濁).

Modern Japanese -i adjectives formerly ended in -ki for the attributive form. This medial /k/ dropped out during the Muromachi period, both for the attributive form (-ki becoming -i) and for the adverbial form (-ku becoming -u). However, the adverbial form reverted back to -ku thereafter for most words, with the -u ending persisting in certain everyday set expressions, such as arigatō, ohayō, or omedetō, and in hyper-formal speech.[4]

/arigataku/ → /arigatau/ → /arigatoː/

Arigatashi is first attested in the oldest literature of the 8th century[5]. Originally meant "difficult to exist, hard to be"[1][2][3], shifting to "rare, special", and then to "welcome, thankful, nice to have" by some time in the 15th century[3]. This sense is still in use: "Kono tenki wa arigatai ne." → "This weather sure is welcome."

Any resemblance to Portuguese obrigado (thank you) is purely coincidental. The Portuguese arrived in Japan in 1543, well more than a century after citations expressing gratitude are found.

Pronunciation[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Interjection[edit]

ありがとう (romaji arigatō)

  1. an expression of thankfulness: thank you

Usage notes[edit]

Most often written in hiragana. May occasionally be seen spelled in kanji as 有り難う or 有難う, generally for more formal writing.

As a fossilized adverb, this is generally followed by the verb ございます (gozaimasu, to be; it is, humble). May also or alternately be preceded by intensifier どうも (dōmo, very). Expressions of thanks are given below in rough order of casual to polite.

Coordinate terms[edit]

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1988, 国語大辞典(新装版) (Kokugo Dai Jiten, Revised Edition) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 1995, 大辞泉 (Daijisen) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan, ISBN 4-09-501211-0
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 2006, 大辞林 (Daijirin), Third Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, ISBN 4-385-13905-9
  4. ^ http://kwhazit.ucoz.net/ranma/g_adj.html#hiformal
  5. ^ c. 759: Man'yōshū (book 17, poem #4011); online text at the University of Virginia

External links[edit]