How natural would you judge the translation of the following English sentence into Latin?
He still wandered on, out of the little high valley, over its edge, and down the slopes beyond.
'Ulterius etiam errabat, e parva valle alta, super limen eius, et deorsum declivia ultra'.
(Latin translation by Mark Walker: Hobbitus Ille, J.R.R. Tolkien (1937), Harper Collins Publishers, London, p. 103, 2012)
When dealing with descriptions of motion in Classical Latin, some authors have recently concluded from their corpus study that this language, unlike English, typically dislikes an accumulation of long series of directional/path segments in a complex motion event (see Iacobini & Corona 2016). However, a Spanish colleague of mine, who is also investigating this topic, told me that examples like the following one from Livy, which contains three path segments, are relatively frequent in Classical Latin prose:
Fulvius Flacus … media urbe per Carinas Esquilias contendit. (Liv. 26, 10, 1).
If the former authors are correct, Latin is quite different from English in that examples like the previous one from Tolkien’s Hobbit are not expected to be frequent in Classical Latin. In striking contrast to English, Romance languages have been shown to favor “separate clauses [i.e., with different verbs] for each segment of a complex motion event" (Slobin 1996; reference mentioned by Iacobini & Corona 2016). E.g., here you have some Romance translations of the English sentence above, which interestingly show how differently from English these languages express motion events:
Catalan (transl. by J. Pujolar):
I seguí vagant, sortí de l’alta i petiteta vall, traspassà la seva vora i descendí per les rampes que venien a darrere.
Spanish (transl. by M. Figueroa):
Continuó caminando, fuera del pequeño y elevado valle, por el borde, y bajando luego las pendientes.
French (transl. by F. Ledoux):
Il continua d'avancer au hasard, sortit du haut vallon, en franchit le bord et descendit la pente au-delà....
Portuguese (transl. by ?).
Continou avançando, saiu do vale alto e estreito, e desceu as ladeiras além.
In striking contrast to Romance languages, languages like Dutch are expected to behave like English:
Hij zwierf verder, het kleine hoge dal uit, over de rand en daaarachter gelegen hellingen af. (Lit. ‘He wandered further, out of the little high valley, down over the edge and the slopes lying beyond.’).
As for the possibility of accumulating directional/path segments in a complex motion event, my impression is that Classical Latin is to be put somewhere in the middle of the continuum: it is not like Germanic languages but it does not behave like Romance languages either. What is your opinion/personal experience from reading Latin texts?