It seems to me that "tja" is more a typo for "ja" than a word by its own.
I have looked in a number of websites, the only satisfying one was Wiktionary but it has nothing about its etymology as a German word.
How did the word "tja" originate?
My opinion: tja = shortened 'Du, ja', whereas both 'du' (= you) and 'ja' (= yes) are used as stresses.
"tja" is an interjection (Interjektion). Like "oh", "ah" or "pst". I wouldn't consider it as a word which has developed from something.
You could also say "nun ja", but what does that really mean? Just filling words or a filling sound to bridge the silence till your thoughts caught up.
I doubt it originated from a typo, because it is used mainly in spoken German. It get from there into the literary language. And it sounds better as "uhm" "ähm" or "äh", but fulfills the same purpose.
"Tja" is more than a typo for "ja", Like when somebody lost her mobile:
You can't put in "ja" there. Mostly used when expressing "Schicksal/Kismet"
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