Keywords: language of theatre; morphological reanalysis; lexicography
Theatrical captions of the 17 th -20 th centuries often include via to indicate the exit of a character from the stage. This form has been interpreted as an adverb and the corresponding caption as a nominal phrase. In actual fact, the discovery of a number of examples in which several characters viano allows us to identify an intransitive verb viare, with the technical meaning of ‘to leave the stage’, different therefore from the transitive viare in the sense of ‘to lead’ recorded (with a single 13 th century example) in Battaglia’s Grande dizionario della lingua italiana. The study proposes a few examples to provide documentary evidence of the birth, establishment and disappearance of the usage and to debate the nature of this verbal formation.