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Yamada Yuki

It's still possible that the morphological progression from ancient 5 syllabic arigatou actually has gotten the reduction in syllable to match the Portuguese pronounciation of obrigado.
Portuguese merchants in Edo period (1603-1868) usually ended communications with a mix of Portuguese and Japanese: "Obrigado,今後とも宜しく (actually 夜露死苦)" merchants were considered a low and dirty job for merchants were associated with scavenging for goods of fallen warriors and other dead people, thus being a merchant in Edo and early Meiji was considered a very bad job, totally fitting for foreigners; Koreans, Portuguese, Chinese, etc.. Later in Meiji period merchants were allowed to carry weapons and thus they organized themselves into merchant labor unions and became what is now known as the Japanese Mafia, the Yakuza. Back in ancient Japan during the warring states era it was very uncommon for Japanese natives to actually travel accross the country thus the language was very much regional with Kamigata dialect unusually following foreign pronounciations, the contraction of vowels in words like namae to name, still in use in Kansaiben today.

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