From plicāre to llegar(semantic shift)


Senior Member
I don't understand the evolution in meaning from Latin plicāre,meaning "to fold",to Spanish llegar,meaning "to arrive".Any theories on how this came about?
  • Sardokan1.0

    Senior Member
    Sardu / Italianu
    What about the verb : [lĕgo], lĕgis, legi, lectum, lĕgĕre

    Among the various meanings there is : to pass, to cross, to travel

    it's the same root of Legatus : delegate, emissary


    Senior Member
    Romanian - Romania
    Meyer-Lübke (Romanisches etymologisches Wörterbuch) explains Spanish llegar from Latin expression applicare navem:


    Note a similar evolution of Latin plicare to Romanian verb a pleca, (also Aromanian plicari) which means:
    1. to incline, to bend
    2. to leave (this meaning is the most used)

    I found an explanation here:
    pleca - Wiktionary
    The semantic shift from "fold" to "leave" may be because to Proto-Romanian speakers, the word became associated with the folding up of tents to leave and move, especially as the pastoral lifestyle was important in their culture (cf. also the Latin expression plicāre tentōria, in the military context of folding up tents in a camp to move on, or French plier bagage).
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    Catalan (Catalonia), Spanish (Spain)
    I agree with that meaning of applicare.

    In fact, both AD-PLICARE > (a)plegar/(a)llegar/(a)chegar, and AD-RIPARE > arribar/arriver/arrivare would have meant something similar, i.e., bringing a ship to the shore, landing it, "arrive home".
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