A matter of perspective

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<i>Eo</i> and <i>venio</i>, Latin&#8217;s primary motion verbs, are traditionally interpreted referring to an aspectual differentiation (telic <i>venio</i> vs. non-telic <i>eo</i>). The analysis of preclassical texts, however, show traces of an embryonic change towards a deictic-oriented use. <i>Venio</i>, in particular, displays prototypical instances centered around telicity vs. less typical occurrences governed by a deictic principle. Cognitive and pragmatic phenomena such as the interaction between spatial and temporal deixis or an ego-perspective appear to be relevant within this process, where aspectual or deictic orientations turn out to be functional in terms of textual exploitation. The comprehension of these features can account for the emergence, in Classical Latin, of a new <i>eo</i> &#8211; <i>venio</i> polarization where deixis progressively plays a pivot role.


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