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Between aspect and deixis: Vado in Classical Latin and the evolution of motion verbs

Entre aspect et deixis : vado en latin classique et l’évolution des verbes de mouvement
Andrea Nuti
p. 69-77

Résumés

Selon des hypothèses, vado serait utilisé dans la correspondance de Cicéron comme un synonyme de eo. L’analyse de vado en latin classique met en évidence que ce verbe présente des traits distinctifs tels que [ingressif] ou [duratif] et qu’il a une place à part au niveau fonctionnel. Son rôle ne peut être pleinement compris que dans le cadre global d’évolution des verbes de mouvement, notamment celui de eo et de venio, où vado possède un caractère spécifique en termes d’aspect lexical et d’exploitation textuelle. En outre, un passage de Martial suggère que vado commence aussi à suivre eo quant à l’orientation déictique.

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Texte intégral

I wish to thank Hannah Rosén for her generous help and keen observations on this paper. I am also indebted to Michèle Fruyt, Alessandro Russo and an anonymous reader for their useful comments. Any responsibility for what I have written is, of course, only mine.

1. Introduction

  • 2 Cf. Wackernagel, 1906, p. 181-3; Löfstedt, 1933, p. 38-41; Ernout, 1954, p. 156-9.
  • 3 Ernout, 1954, p. 157. To define the meaning of vado as related to the idea of strenght and, consequ (...)
  • 4 Cf. Ernout, 1954, p. 156-8. Cf. also Lüdtke, 1999, p. 56. See, however, Rosén, 2000, p. 281: “The f (...)

1Late Latin shows increasing competition between eo and vado, resulting in a type of new, mixed paradigm where eo is superseded in its monosyllabic forms. This process has been related to the phenomena of phonetic erosion (e.g. it/iit; īs/ĭs) and the tendency to avoid monosyllables.2 The expansion of vado seems to be due, then, to phonetic factors. Such a view goes hand in hand with the idea that, before coming to Late Latin, this verb would have already been a semantic competitor of eo. Indeed, Ernout recalls that eo is semantically generic and would thus incline to a replacement by more expressive forms, such as vado, which apparently implies une idée accessoire de rapidité, de force ou de violence.3 Consequently, already in Classical Latin vado would have been used as a synonym of eo, although only in the colloquial language: frequently-quoted examples of this early synonymic use may be found, allegedly, in the sporadic occurrences of vado in Cicero’s letters.4 What has given rise to this, therefore, appears to be a combination of semantics and phonetics. Presumably, in short, initially semantics (at Cicero’s time), and then phonetics (say, at Egeria’s time). The issues raised by this interpretation, however, are better addressed if we take a closer look at how vado is used in Classical Latin, where it can be seen that it is not a precise synonym of eo.

2. Ingressive value

  • 5 Plautus employs evado (6 occ.) and invado (6), as well as Terence (evado: 6; invado: 1). No occurre (...)

2Consider that vado hardly ever occurs in pre-Classical Latin (although compound forms do arise):5 no occurrence in Plautus, Terence and Cato’s De agri cultura (an absence clearly connected with the presence of verbs like ambulo or pergo, cf. Rosén, 2000, p. 276-9). The same applies for early classical texts: no occurrence in Caesar, in the corpus Caesarianum and in the speeches of Cicero. But attestations are found in many other prose writers, especially Livy (30 occurrences) and Seneca (41), as well as in poetry: Catullus (2), Virgil (9) and Horace (3), at times exploit the semantic, and metrical, possibilities of this verb, the highest peak occurring in Ovid (12). However, these occurrences are few, and when compared with those of eo, or venio, these latter are preponderant. Among motion verbs, as has been nicely put, vadere is “a latecomer” (cf. Rosén, 2000, p. 280).

  • 6 The label “ingressive” is here employed, rather generically, simply to highlight that the focus is (...)

3In almost half of the occurrences in classical authors, vado seems to refer specifically to the initial moment of the motion and, in a word, shows an ingressive value:6

(1)

Ludunt alea studiose […] inde ad comitium vadunt […] dum eunt, nulla est in angiporto amphora quam non impleant. (Titius or. frg. Macr. Sat. 3, 16, 15)

(2)

Pompeius in Cumanum Parilibus venit. Misit ad me statim qui salutem nuntiaret. Ad eum postridie mane vadebam, cum haec scripsi. (Cic. Att. 4, 10, 2)

(3)

Urbem quidem iam refertam esse optimatium audio, Sosium et Lupum quos Gnaeus noster ante putabat Brundisium venturos esse quam se ius dicere. Hinc vero vulgo vadunt; etiam M. Lepidus quocum diem conterere solebam cras cogitabat. Nos autem in Formiano morabamur, quo citius audiremus; deinde Arpinum volebamus. (Cic. Att. 9, 1, 2)

(4)

Hic mecum Balbus, Hirtius, Pansa. Modo venit Octavius et quidem in proximam villam Philippi mihi totus deditus; Lentulus Spinther hodie apud me; cras mane vadit. (Cic. Att. 14, 11, 2)

(5)

Signum poscunt ingenti clamore celsique et spe haud dubia feroces in proelium vadunt. (Liv. 7, 16, 5)

(6)

Sublatis ancoris ad hostem vadit. (Liv. 22, 19, 6)

(7)

Perstat Echionides, nec iam iubet ire, sed ipse / vadit, ubi electus facienda ad sacra Cithaeron / cantibus et clara bacchantum voce sonabat. (Ov. Met. 3, 701-3)

(8)

Io,’ inquis puero tuo, ‘vade quantum potes, de Apollonis bibliotheca has mihi orationes adporta.’ (Aur. Fronto 4, 5, 2)

  • 7 A preference for imperatives of vado emerges clearly in Late Latin, e.g. in the Vulgata, and become (...)

4This feature may be observed since the earliest attestations: in (1) vadunt apparently points to the starting phase of the motion, begun after other activities have been interrupted (cf. inde), and eunt refers to the subsequent stage: the motion in progress. If we consider Cicero (apart from one occurrence in Tusc. 1, 97 and one in Arat. 328), there are only three occurrences (2-4), all in the letters to Atticus, and they all refer to the initial moment of the motion. If we compare Cicero’s own output (e.g. mane est eundum, Cic. Tusc. 5, 121), or Plautus’ (e.g. saluto te… priusquam eo, Mil. 1339), we see that the same function could be fulfilled by eo, which is natural as eo is semantically wide-ranging and unmarked in terms of lexical aspect (see infra). We also note that, sometimes, this ingressive value co-occurs with imperative forms and, judging from the use in (8), we might even posit that vado is beginning to be recruited as an alternative imperative form of eo, as may be claimed for ambula in the pre-classical stage.7 Given the pragmatic and semantic force of the imperative, an ingressive meaning is perfectly hosted. But this value is present in many other forms of vado and, therefore, it does not look like a mere contextual feature triggered by the imperative: the use with imperatives in Classical Latin does not seem to be a cause, but rather an effect.

3. Durative value

  • 8 The general – or diachronic – relationship of these two features is not an issue that can be debate (...)
  • 9 Not unlike pergo. Cf. Rosén, 2000, p. 274-275. Cf. also moveo when it means ‘leave’ (e.g. Liv. 37, (...)

5Even more often, classical texts display a durative value. Consider that no frequentative, habitual sense (i.e. pluri-occasional) – like that of ito ‘go often, habitually’ – can be assigned to vado; and an iterative meaning (i.e. referring to repetitive action) can only apply to a few cases (e.g. 10), where vado means ‘to wander’. By the label “durative”, then, I mean basically that vado behaves like an atelic verb and expresses motion in progress. Furthermore, the [ingressive] and the [durative] features could also be seen as closely connected: the initial moment of a motion can also be, or be represented as, a further step of a previous series.8 This is somehow reflected in many passages where vado specifically means ‘continue to go; proceed’, with reference to a previous, temporary interruption of an otherwise continuous motion.9

6Thus, this durative meaning is very frequent in classical authors, with an early example in (9):

(9)

Exprome quid fers, nam te e longo vadere itere cerno. (Acc. Trag. 499)

(10)

Furibunda simul anhelans vaga vadit. (Catull. 63, 31)

(11)

Per corpora sopita vadetis. (Liv. 7, 35, 11)

(12)

Sequens circulus incipit ab India vergente ad occasum, vadit per medios Parthos. (Plin. Nat. 6, 213)

(13)

Filia carpento, patrios initura penates, / ibat per medias alta feroxque vias. / Corpus ut aspexit, lacrimis auriga profusis / restitit; hunc tali corripit illa sono: / ‘Vadis, an exspectas pretium pietatis amarum? / Duc,’ inquam, ‘invitas ipsa per ora rotas.’ (Ov. Fast. 6, 603-8)

7Note that the previous mention of verbs like incipio (e.g. 12) often makes clear that the adjacent vado refers to a motion already begun.

8Seneca, who provides the highest number of occurrences of vado, mostly displays this durative feature:

(14)

Quemadmodum corporum nostrorum habitus erigitur et spectat in caelum, ita animus […]. Magnus erat labor ire in caelum: redit. Cum hoc iter nactus est, vadit audaciter contemptor omnium. (Sen. Epist. 92, 31)

(15)

sapientia, quae sola libertas est. Una ad hanc fert via, et quidem recta; non aberrabis; vade certo gradu. (Sen. Epist. 37, 4)

9Note that the imperative in (15) does not automatically trigger an ingressive reading, as the meaning of the sentence is clearly not an order to ‘start up resolutely’ on the road to wisdom and freedom, but a recommendation ‘to proceed with a firm pace’ on that path without going astray.

10A significant instance occurs in (16):

(16)

Post haec monitu famuli mei, qui noctis admonebat, iam et ipse crapula distentus protinus exsurgo et appellata propere Byrrhena titubante vestigio domuitionem capesso. Sed cum primam plateam vadimus, vento repentino lumen quo nitebamur exstinguitur, ut vix inprovidae noctis caligine liberati digitis pedum detunsis ob lapides hospitium defessi rediremus. (Apul. Met. 2, 31-2)

  • 10 For the construction vado + acc. in (16), cf. van Mal-Maeder, 2001, p. 403; Apul. Plat. 2.19: viam (...)

11Here, not only does vado refer to a motion already begun (the initial moment was previously expressed by domuitionem capesso ‘I start my journey on the way home’); vado also refers to motion in progress of people who happen to pass by, through that street, which is not intended to be their goal: at the narrative level, the travelling party passing by that street is in the background (the foreground being the following sentence). Arguably, a hypothetical *cum (ad/in) plateam imus, while in theory acceptable, also as far as its aspectual features are concerned, would nevertheless have been blank with regard to the perspective given to the motion, which should be marked as in fieri.10 On the other hand, *venimus would have been inappropriate, as it would have implied a default interpretation, according to which that particular street was an intended Goal and this Goal was reached (whereas they were just passing by).

12It is also noteworthy that the Loeb translation of this vadimus (‘but when we came into the first street, the torch whereunto we trusted went out’; ed. 1915, trans. Adlington-Gaselee) goes for ‘come’, not ‘go’. Obviously, there could have been other options, but the translator’s choice favours a basic verb (understandably so, as this motion is narratively-speaking in the background). The point, however, is that here vado does not adjust to any deictic coordinates (while, given the deictic orientation of verbs such as go and come, the English translation has to…). To sum up, the character of vado, exploited at the textual level, holds essentially on an aspectual ground: it points specifically to “motion in progress”.

4. Durativity and textual exploitation

13This durative character makes vado particularly suitable to back- and fore-grounding dynamics (cf. Hopper, 1979), as can be observed in (17) and (18), where vado (notably, a participle or an imperfect) projects the motion caught in progress as the background of another action, the cry eureka, eureka! or the sudden encounter with the enemy:

(17)

Exiluit gaudio motus de solio et nudus vadens domum verius significabat clara voce invenisse quod quaereret; nam currens identidem Graece clamabat: Eureka, eureka! (Vitr. 9. pref. 10)

(18)

positoque ibi praesidio cum lucis principio signis infestis ad subiectum arci forum vaderet, instructa acies ex adverso occurrit. (Liv. 32, 25, 5)

14The only occurrence in Cicero’s prose outside the letters is emblematic of how this durative character can prove very useful for building textual constructions. Usually, vado points to the on-going motion of a single subject, but its use in (19) implies that Socrates’ motion is described as a continuation of Theramenes’: Socrates follows in Theramenes’ steps, down the same path and destiny. Thus, the expression of durative motion shifts from continuous motion of one subject to a series of pluri-subject motion events.

(19)

Vadit enim in eundem carcerem atque in eundem paucis post annis scyphum Socrates, eodem scelere iudicum quo tyrannorum Theramenes. (Cic. Tusc. 1, 97)

15In other words, in Classical Latin vado has a place of its own as a lexical alternative to eo on account of its different profile in terms of discourse functions and textual exploitation.

5. Vado within the evolutionary dynamics of eo and venio

  • 11 For a detailed analysis cf. Nuti, 2016.
  • 12 Cf. Hofmann-Szantyr, 1972, p. 301-3; Ricca, 1993, p. 127-31.
  • 13 Consider also a couple like bene ambula! – bene venisti!, as highlighted by Rosén, 2000, p. 276, wh (...)

16To consider vado as a mere synonym of eo seems even less appropriate if we widen our scope and pay attention to what is happening to the basic motion verbs in Classical Latin, most notably eo and venio.11 Note that in pre-Classical Latin eo and venio present no deictic opposition: they are not a pair of centrifugal (or “itive”) vs. centripetal (or “ventive”) verbs, such as go and come, or aller and venir (where, essentially, the relevant factor is whether the motion is away from the speaker or towards it). The difference between eo and venio regards mainly their lexical aspect: venio is telic, it means ‘reach; arrive at’; eo is atelic, it is a semantically basic motion verb that simply refers to translational motion with no specific aspectual orientation and, therefore, its meaning is closer to a verb like ‘move’ rather than ‘go’. This explains its numerical preponderance with respect to venio: in Plautus, eo has 900 occurrences, venio 412. The archaic comedy provides plenty of examples of this situation (20).12 Already at this stage, nonetheless, there are traces of an embryonic change in progress (21).13

(20)

I hac mecum intro. (Plaut. Bacch. 1175)

(21)

Nunc speculabor quid ibi agatur, quis eat intro, qui foras / veniat; procul hinc observabo. (Plaut. Truc. 708-9)

  • 14 Note that a telic character continues down to, at least, ancient Italian: quando venimmo a quella f (...)
  • 15 Cf. Nuti, 2016, p. 38-53; Orlandini and Poccetti, 2011, p. 26; Brachet, 2000, p. 64-65; and, for a (...)

17By the time of Classical Latin, in fact, venio, while maintaining a telic character,14 begins to exhibit a centripetal orientation (22)-(23). Note also that in Cicero’s letters, as in all classical prose, the numerical ratio of eo and venio is reversed, and venio becomes numerically predominant by a long shot: venio has 977 occurrences, eo only 158. All this brings about a new polarization, to which eo passively adjusts, eventually referring to centrifugal motion (24)-(26).15

(22)

Nunc tuum consilium exquiro. Romamne venio an hic maneo an Arpinum (ἀσφάλειαν habet is locus) fugiam? (Cic. Att. 16, 8)

(23)

Unde venis?’ et / ‘quo tendis?’ rogat et respondet. (Hor. Sat. 1, 9, 62-3)

(24)

Eunti mihi Antium et gladiatores M. Metelli cupide relinquenti venit obviam tuus puer. (Cic. Att. 2, 1, 1)

(25)

Unde volet, veniat; quoque libebit, eat. (Ov. Ars 2, 544)

(26)

Intuendum est non unde veniant sed quo eant. (Sen. Epist. 44, 6)

18As a sign of this process, consider that already in Plautus the occurrence with a 1st person-oriented adverbial favored venio against eo (with huc, the ratio is 3 to 1). In Cicero’s letters, eo no longer occurs with a 1st person Goal (Table 1).

Table 1: Occurrences of eo and venio + 1st person Goals

ad me

ad nos

huc

eo

venio

eo

venio

eo

venio

Plautus

7

9

2

3

18

54

Cicero (letters)

-

89

-

8

-

13

19Nonetheless, just as venio holds on to its telic character, so too does eo continue to be atelic. Eo used to refer also to motion in progress, and archaic comedy (where vado – not by chance – is absent) offers examples:

(27)

Hic ad me it. (Plaut. Most. 566)

(28)

Ere, unde is? Ex senatu. (Plaut. Cist. 776)

20But in Classical Latin eo and venio are definitely shifting towards a new axis, based on deixis. This may represent, therefore, a structural requirement for what I would call an “aspectually marked” motion verb. In contexts where the Goal is paramount (spatially and temporally), such a verb is not lacking because venio, since it is still telic, fulfils this task. Not thus for the initial and intermediate stages of the motion. This functional gap related to aspect is thus filled by vado, as an aspectually marked “doublet” of eo, because it essentially refers to motion in progress, without strong deictic implicatures. In other words, the leading pivot for the aspectual orientation of vado is, then, venio rather than eo; and it is as if venio and vado are now carving up, respectively, the terminative pole and the ingressive-durative pole.

21Accordingly, there is also a difference on the plane of what we may call the directional character. Generally speaking, eo covers basic translational motion, and it is therefore needed when the Source or, especially, the Goal are rhematic elements at issue, which is often the case. Indeed, with eo a nominal, pronominal, or adverbial phrase referring to the Goal is often present (typically, a phrase with in or ad). With vado, this is less frequent: if we focus on prepositional phrases, in classical authors the most frequent construction is not vado + ad or vado + in, but vado + per (Table 2).

Table 2: Occurrences of vado + prepositional phrases

overall occurrences

vado + ad

vado + in**

vado + per

Class. Lat. (1st BC – 2nd AD)*

180

20

20

33

Per. Eg.

16

1

4

-

Vulg. (Pent., Four Gosp.)

118

22

11

-

* My figures on Classical Latin are based on a sample of 39 of the most representative authors (plus the Corpus Caesarianum and the Appendix Vergiliana), ranging from Cicero and Caesar down to Apuleius at the latest. Single corpora have been scrutinized in their entirety. ** Most of the occurrences of vado + in in Classical Latin (12 out of 20) come from Livy, where it is usually a stylistic variation of invadere (hostem).

22In short, eo is favoured to express motion to a Goal, vado for motion through a space. If we take Seneca as emblematic, the contrast between eo and vado is evident in (14): ire in caelumvadit audaciter. With vado, it is the motion itself that is paramount, not the Goal. Things, of course, will be different in Late Latin: there is no instance of vado + per in the Peregrinatio Egeriae nor in the portion of the Vulgata I have scrutinized: just vado + in/ad.

  • 16 Things being so, we might speculate about a general tendency to favour, in diachrony, the expansion (...)

23In the light of all this, in Classical Latin it is better not to regard eo and vado as synonyms: rather, they complement each other, with vado more strongly oriented towards the pole of non-terminative, durative motion. Consider also that perfect forms of eo, however less frequent when compared to venio, do occur, while perfect forms of vado are practically absent.16

6. Vado on the road to deixis

24The occurrences of vado seem to reach a peak around 1st century AD. After 2nd century, vado is much less frequent. There is a sort of gap, presumably due to the progressively archaizing style of literary language. When vado shows up again with consistent frequency, in texts like the Peregrinatio Egeriae or the Vulgata, it is mostly used as a synonym of eo (29).

(29)

Dixit ad eam Agar ancilla Sarai unde venis et quo vadis. (Vulg., Gen. 16, 8)

25Going back to the classical stage, however, vado does have the appearance of a lexical form that also belongs to colloquial, everyday language. It is therefore possible that in the spoken language vado was already beginning to be used independently of specific aspectual and textual frames. This resulting full synonymy with eo could then emerge in written texts, but only sporadically and, in any case, not yet in Cicero’s time. It seems to be used in such a way in (30):

(30)

Ipse quoque ad cenam gaudebat Apicius ire […]. Si tamen invitus vadis, cur, Classice, vadis? (Mart. 2, 69, 3,5)

26But this, by itself, would not be particularly noteworthy: just spoken language that creeps in. The instance in (31) is more telling:

(31)

Quo tu, quo, liber otiose, tendis / cultus Sidone non cotidiana? / Numquid Parthenium videre? Certe: / vadas et redeas inevolutus / libros non legit ille sed libellos. (Mart. 11, 1, 1-5)

  • 17 Cf. (21), (25)-(26); see also: It, redit et narrat (Hor. Epist. 1, 7, 55).
  • 18 Cf. Kay, 1985, p. 5-6.
  • 19 Cf. cedendum enim est celeriter (Cic. Att. 8, 16, 1); Vade ergo et cede severi iugeribus campi (Juv (...)
  • 20 As centrifugal motion is normally marked also by abeo (e.g. qua nocte ad me venisti eadem abis, Pla (...)

27This passage explicitly presents a deictic orientation, where vado points to centrifugal motion and redeo centripetal (the deictic center being of course EGO, i.e. Martial himself, which is also a textual centrum deicticum). Centrifugal motion, so far, within Classical Latin, has been expressed by eo (or abeo).17 Indeed, (9) suggests that, in pre-Classical Latin, vado did share with eo the feature of deictic neutrality. As for (31), it is just an isolated case at this stage. Metrics, of course, might be invoked, but it does not seem to constitute a strong issue here: the epigram is a (Phalaecian) hendecasyllable18 and two initial long syllables might be provided by other verbs (e.g. cēdās).19 The appropriation of a deictic orientation by vado, instead, may be related to the increasing assumption of a centrifugal character by eo.20 A possible interpretation is, therefore, that in the substandard language (on which, we may assume, Martial is drawing) things are moving fast, and vado is keeping pace with eo also with regard to its “new” deictic orientation.

  • 21 For the relation between aspect and suppletion of motion verbs, cf. Létoublon, 1985.

28In order to understand the role of vado within the history of motion verbs, then, attention has to be paid to how it behaves in Classical Latin, where aspectual features,21 phenomena of textual exploitation and an incipient deictic orientation must be recognized as relevant, interacting factors.

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Bibliographie

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Hofmann, J. and Szantyr, A., 1972, Lateinische Syntax und Stilistik, Munich.

Hopper, P., 1979, Aspect and foregrounding in discourse, in T. Givón (ed.), Syntax and Semantics, vol. 12: Discourse and Syntax, New York, p. 213-241.

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Kay, N. M., 1985, Martial, book XI. A Commentary, London.

Lehmann, Ch., 1995, Latin predicate classes from an onomasiological point of view, in D. Longrée (ed.), De usu. Études de syntaxe latine offertes en hommage à Marius Lavency, Louvain, p. 163-173.

Létoublon, F., 1985, Il allait, pareil à la nuit. Les verbes de mouvement en grec: supplétisme et aspect verbal, Paris.

Löfstedt, E., 1933. Syntactica, II: Syntaktisch-Stilistische Gesichtspunkte und Probleme, Lund.

Lüdtke, H., 1999, Diachronic semantics: Towards a unified theory?, in A. Blank and P. Koch (eds.), Historical Semantics and Cognition, Berlin / New York, p. 49-60.

Mal-Maeder, D. van, 2001, Apuleius Madaurensis, Metamorphoses, Livre II. Texte, introduction et commentaire, Groningen.

Nuti, A., 2016, A matter of perspective: Aspect, deixis, and textual exploitation in the prototype semantics of eo and venio, in W. M. Short (ed.), Embodiment in Latin Semantics, Amsterdam/Philadelphia, p. 15-55.

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Pinkster, H., 1990, Latin Syntax and Semantics, London.

Ricca, D., 1993, I verbi deittici di movimento in Europa: una ricerca interlinguistica, Florence.

Rosén, H., 2000, Preclassical and Classical Latin precursors of Romance verb-stem suppletion, Indogermanische Forschungen 105, p. 271-283.

Wackernagel, J., 1906, Wortunfang und Wortform, Nachrichten von der Königlichen Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen, Göttingen, p. 147-184.

Wilkins, D. and Hill, D., 1995, When go means come: Questioning the basicness of basic motion verbs, Cognitive Linguistics 6 (2/3), p. 209-259.

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Notes

2 Cf. Wackernagel, 1906, p. 181-3; Löfstedt, 1933, p. 38-41; Ernout, 1954, p. 156-9.

3 Ernout, 1954, p. 157. To define the meaning of vado as related to the idea of strenght and, consequently, to features such as [volition] and [control] is, in itself, legitimate (on these aspects see now Julia, 2016). But eo might be considered in a similar manner. The particular semantic content of vado could be the consequence of features such as [ingressive] and [durative], which, as is argued in this paper, are relevant to the meaning assumed by vado: to highlight the initial moment of a motion or its duration becomes pragmatically relevant especially when the motion is carried by an animate, volitional participant. However, a complete analysis of all the semantic properties of vado exceeds the scope of this paper, which instead focusses on parameters such as deixis and aspect.

4 Cf. Ernout, 1954, p. 156-8. Cf. also Lüdtke, 1999, p. 56. See, however, Rosén, 2000, p. 281: “The full answer to the thorny question about the beginnings of the Romance stem suppletion comes not from these vacant spots searched for in each and every study of suppletivism, but from the syntactic distribution of the supplementing verb.”

5 Plautus employs evado (6 occ.) and invado (6), as well as Terence (evado: 6; invado: 1). No occurrence in Cato’s De agri cultura.

6 The label “ingressive” is here employed, rather generically, simply to highlight that the focus is on the initial stage of the motion (i.e. without reference to a finer-grained analysis between states, processes, actions, etc.). The term “inchoative”, then, could have been used as well; but it might have implied a specific reference to a morphological class like sco-verbs, which is not relevant in this paper.

7 A preference for imperatives of vado emerges clearly in Late Latin, e.g. in the Vulgata, and becomes progressively frequent (e.g. it is the norm in Gregory of Tours).

8 The general – or diachronic – relationship of these two features is not an issue that can be debated here. Cf. Lehmann, 1995.

9 Not unlike pergo. Cf. Rosén, 2000, p. 274-275. Cf. also moveo when it means ‘leave’ (e.g. Liv. 37, 23, 6: classis e portu movit), or Eng. move as ‘depart’.

10 For the construction vado + acc. in (16), cf. van Mal-Maeder, 2001, p. 403; Apul. Plat. 2.19: viam vadunt. Note also that eo + in generally expresses directional motion. Likewise eo + acc., especially in the few canonical instances (domum, Romam, etc.).

11 For a detailed analysis cf. Nuti, 2016.

12 Cf. Hofmann-Szantyr, 1972, p. 301-3; Ricca, 1993, p. 127-31.

13 Consider also a couple like bene ambula! – bene venisti!, as highlighted by Rosén, 2000, p. 276, which somehow expresses a centrifugal-centripetal polarization.

14 Note that a telic character continues down to, at least, ancient Italian: quando venimmo a quella foce stretta (Dante, Inferno 26, 107).

15 Cf. Nuti, 2016, p. 38-53; Orlandini and Poccetti, 2011, p. 26; Brachet, 2000, p. 64-65; and, for a comparison with other languages, Wilkins-Hill, 1995.

16 Things being so, we might speculate about a general tendency to favour, in diachrony, the expansion of verbs whose lexical aspect highlights a processual perspective (i.e. something comparable to a Jespersen’s cycle). We might also recall that Pinkster, 1990, p. 224, in a quick note within a paragraph otherwise concerned with the present indicative tense, acutely observes that “dynamic state of affairs (especially with ‘to go’) predominate”.

17 Cf. (21), (25)-(26); see also: It, redit et narrat (Hor. Epist. 1, 7, 55).

18 Cf. Kay, 1985, p. 5-6.

19 Cf. cedendum enim est celeriter (Cic. Att. 8, 16, 1); Vade ergo et cede severi iugeribus campi (Juv. 2, 131).

20 As centrifugal motion is normally marked also by abeo (e.g. qua nocte ad me venisti eadem abis, Plaut. Amph. 532), apparently there is a functional overlap in progress between abeo and eo. Considering that loss of initial aspiration occurs since republican inscriptions (CIL I, 1034), an increasing degree of homophony between forms of abeo and habeo might also have played a role, as their different syntactic constructions cover only part of their occurrences, and occasions where the two verbs could entwine might not be infrequent. Cf. Plaut. Men. 220; Appendix Probi IV (Gramm. IV 200, 11); Alcuin, De orthographia 303, 10. As to the relevance of phonetic factors with motion verbs, cf. Rosén, 2000, p. 276.

21 For the relation between aspect and suppletion of motion verbs, cf. Létoublon, 1985.

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Andrea Nuti, « Between aspect and deixis: Vado in Classical Latin and the evolution of motion verbs », Pallas, 102 | 2016, 69-77.

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Andrea Nuti, « Between aspect and deixis: Vado in Classical Latin and the evolution of motion verbs », Pallas [En ligne], 102 | 2016, mis en ligne le 20 décembre 2016, consulté le 21 août 2017. URL : http://pallas.revues.org/3573 ; DOI : 10.4000/pallas.3573

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Andrea Nuti

Researcher, Università di Pisa
andrea.nuti@unipi.it

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Pallas – Revue d'études antiques est mis à disposition selon les termes de la licence Creative Commons Attribution - Pas d'Utilisation Commerciale - Pas de Modification 4.0 International.

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