I was wondering what is the correct analysis/interpretation of exstincta sunt in the following text from Cicero:

quarum rerum recordatio et memoria si una cum illo occidisset, desiderium coniunctissimi atque amantissimi viri ferre nullo modo possem. Sed nec illa exstincta sunt alunturque potius et augentur cogitatione et memoria mea. (Cic. Amic. 104)

In my opinion, two analyses/interpretations are possible in this context:

  1. adjectival resultative construction ('those things are not extinguished': cf. also the translation found in Perseus: 'those experiences with him are not dead');

  2. anticausative/mediopassive construction ('those things didn't {extinguish/disappear/die out}').

NB: there is a third reading (the eventive passive one: 'those things have not been extinguished'), which is contextually excluded here by the presence of the mediopassive forms that follow: aluntur and augentur. See this related question for an extensive discussion of the three (typical?) readings associated to PERFECT PARTICIPLE + ESSE.

My present question is partly motivated by the following comment found in Rodden Ricks & Dickison's (2006: 56) book on Cicero's De Amicitia:

“Here illa refers generally back to quarum rerum -all the things Laelius recalls and remembers (...). When extinguo is used in the passive as it is here, it has an active meaning (‘these things have not perished’).”

I understand that these authors refer to the second interpretation above: i.e. the anticausative/mediopassive one of exstingui. This is a nice example since it can be taken as a counterexample to Cennamo, Eythórsson, and Barðdal (2015)'s claim that only the following three strategies are employed for anticausativization in Latin (NB: The term anticausativization refers to the intransitive use of a transitive verb where the original object argument, the patient/theme, occurs as a subject. Anticausative variants are sometimes referred to as "ergative". They are also often considered as a subset of unaccusative verbs).

(i) The mediopassive -r form in imperfective tenses, so-called infectum: e.g. foris aperitur ‘The door opens.’

(ii) The reflexive pattern, i.e., the reflexive morpheme se together with the verb in the active voice: e.g. foris se aperit ‘The door opens.’

(iii) The active intransitive (i.e., P(atient)-lability): e.g. foris aperit ‘The door opens.’

In a related question, I asked when each of these three variants is used (i.e. are there any meaningful differences or subtle nuances between the three uses above?). In the present question, which is intimately related to the very interesting one raised by Lisa, I'd like to know if the above example from Cicero can also be interpreted as a counterexample to Cennamo et al.'s (2015) generalization above that the mediopassive pattern of anticausatives is restricted to the infectum. In my opinion, the anticausative variant/strategy is also possible with the perfectum. Perhaps the above example from Cicero is not clear, compared to the following one from Horace, where the eventive reading involved in the anticausative construction is preferred to the stative one involved in the adjectival resultative construction.

Postquam omnis res mea Ianum ad medium fracta est, aliena negotia curo. (Hor. Sat. 2,3,18-19) ‘After all my business collapsed at the central arcade of Janus, I tend to other’s affairs.'


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