The class of "rumpo" verbs plus directional prefixes

Cadina Palachi (FHUC – IHuCSo Santa Fe (Argentina), Universidad Nacional del Litoral)


The Latin verb rumpo can be classified, according to Levin (1993), as a break verb. This class belongs to a larger class which expresses “change of state”. The Latin verb frango appears to have a similar meaning to that of rumpo. Both verbs are transitive and can form new ones with prepositional prefixes. However, in the presence of prefixes that indicate direction (such as in, ex or intro), the result of the derivation is different for each one. Frango retains its meaning and the direct complement is the entity that “changes state”, while rumpo modifies its meaning, turns into a movement verb and becomes intransitive, its main component being direction. The question we will attempt to answer is: why is the meaning of direction – present in the prefix – favoured in the new lexemes from rumpo, while in the prefixed verbs from frango is the feature cause – apparently present in the “change of state” root – preserved? The hypothesis is that the roots √RUMP and √FRANG have different meanings; the meaning of movement is present in the root √RUMP while √FRANG is closer to the verbs belonging to the destroy class. Our analysis describes the semantics and syntax of these verbs in the theoretical framework of Distributed Morphology and focalizes in the problem related to the content of Roots.

DOI: 10.4424/lam92020-10


Word formation; Prefixes; Latin; Verbal morphology; Semantics.

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