the plain negative of aru is irregular:

NOT: aru --> ara (mizenkei) --> ara+nai BUT: aru --> nai

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Yes, there was ara-nai. Quote from 『おあむ物語』 (c. 1665):


From 『雑兵物語 おあむ物語』, page 134, 岩波書店 ISBN4-00-302451-6.

While quite short, for those interested in language history, I'd like to point out that this text is particularly rich in early 17th century colloquial speech. Other than the above negative ara-nai, there are early examples illustrating the change from bigrade to monograde verbs and merging of /di, zi/, among others.

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