Arigato 15th century or 8th century
While with the existence of the similar Kanji it was not regularly used and it did not (re)appear until the 15th century with the first arrival of the Portuguese. Whether arigato is the first western loan word or whether it was second generation via Taiwan is something that will be debated as actually the word explanation stems from from Chinese. The argument says the word existed previously as Kanji (Chinese writing), but it fails to point out that 7 hundred years earlier it was not Japaneses but Chinese which may or may not have been commonly used in Japanese. Ultimately the question is whether there was a term for "Thank you" not if there was a word "arigatashi". This was a similar case in India. Etymology is not only the origin but more the adoption of words. As easy as it is to find a similar native word that may predate another word in the same language as it is to find a similar word in different language and relate them to the native word or "word". "Thank you" is in question in Japan and India and related to the Portuguese explorers who first went there.
Ultimately the question is: how does the Japaneses thank someone in 1540 and how did they thank them in 1543, plus or minus the first arrival of Pinto whenever that was (41 or 42). —This unsigned comment was added by 18.104.22.168 (talk • contribs).
- First of all, the issue has nothing to do with kanji or Chinese. What you are primarily emphasizing is the lexical meaning, which is only one part of etymology. Meanings change over time, but even in this case, it can be demonstrated that the Portuguese had no influence here. You may find arigatō being used to express "thank you" in the following early texts, which easily predate the arrival of the Portuguese:
- Noritoki Kyōki (教言卿記, 1406)
- Matsukaze (松風, c. 1423)
- Shikishō (史記抄, 1477)
- Bendono 12:42, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
Sound shifts and derivations
Ulmanor, I'm restoring my edits from earlier today and reverting your reversion. As explanation for why:
The sound shift where medial /k/ dropped out of adjective forms occurred in the Muromachi period, starting in the earlier Kamakura period, as described at w:Japanese_language#Late_Middle_Japanese and w:Late_Middle_Japanese#Adjectives. This is well documented, and resulted in modern forms such as ohayō or omedetō, both decomposing to honorific o- + [adj. root] + adverbial -u (modern -ku). Since both adjective roots end in -a, this final /au/ undergoes regular metamorphosis into /oː/. Arigatō has essentially the exact same structure: [adj. root] (arigata in this case) + adverbial -u = arigatau > arigatō.
I considered just deleting the reference when I edited previously, but it does contain some interesting information, even if some of it might be a touch misleading when looking at it for etymological purposes. The "High Formatilty" section, for instance, is not about how these terms were derived. All of these highly formal variants are essentially Muromachi-era adverbial forms, all derived following known and regular sound shifts.
For instance, /nemuki/ > /nemuku/ > /nemuː/, or /oːkiki/ > /oːkiku/ > /oːkiu/ > /oːkjuː/, or /joroɕiki/ > /joroɕiku/ > /joroɕiu/ > /joroɕʲuː/. As adverbs, they all precede verbs, generally gozaimasu, which parses out to roughly "to be / go / come [adjective]ly", though that doesn't translate directly too well. Other verbs are possible, such as よろしゅうおあがり, heard in Kansai and basically meaning "eat up, eat well".
In future, when you notice that an entry has extensive detailed notes added to the etymology, please check with other editors before reverting. Now that I am digging through the edit history for ありがとう, I realize why I had such a strong sense of déjà vu earlier today -- you had previously removed these same details that I'd added or reworked in the etymology some months ago. Please don't do that again. -- Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 01:00, 6 March 2013 (UTC)