I assume that the interjection いや is cognate with a bunch of other words beginning with iya- such as 嫌がる、卑しい, perhaps via the semantics of 'disagreeable'.

But did the interjection come first and get lexicalised into verbs and adjectives? Or does the interjection derive from the other forms? Which is the earlier form?


According to the entry of いや in 日本国語大辞典:


The interjection sense first appears in 1254:


And the adjective in 1477:


It suggests that the adjective usage of いや (with all its derivation) is a secondary development.

While いや derives from an older form いな in the middle ages, いやしい dates back to 日本書紀, that means those two are not cognate.


As an aside, いな also generated a derived verb, namely いなぶ > いなむ "deny, negate", which has been widely used till now.

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