Paolo Ramat paoram at UNIPV.IT
Tue Jun 24 19:35:19 UTC 2008

Hallo to everybody!
The Italian crackers look as follow:
To my surprise a verb meaning "being partially fractured though without the parts completely separate or without the whole completely destroyed" hardly exists. There is  the subst. fessura (<Lat. fissura)
but the verb fessurarsi (intrans., reflex.) is very rare. And a frattura (< Lat. fractura) means something different: you may have/cause (trans.) a frattura of a bone, but not of something, "preferably an artefact, of brittle consistency, hard but breakable, such as vases or window panes made of glass, plates made of porcelain". 
Moreover, you can hardly say ?*Il vaso si fessura (usually a vase si rompe, "cracks"). 
Thus, Italian does not completely overlap the French usages: ?*Il calore ha fatto fessurare /fessurarsi il vaso 
I would say that rompersi is used also for fessurarsi, (the main difference being that trans. rompere exists along with the  reflex. rompersi,  while *fessurare (trans.) does not exist  (any longer)). The default form would be  a paraphrase: Il calore ha prodotto una fessura sul / nel vaso .



Prof. Paolo Ramat
Istituto Universitario di Studi Superiori (IUSS)
Responsabile della classe di Scienze Umane
V.le Lungo Ticino Sforza 56, 27100 Pavia - Italia
Tel. +39 0382 375811 Fax +39 0382 375899 

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Bernard Fradin 
  Sent: Tuesday, June 24, 2008 5:45 PM
  Subject: Re: Crackers

  Dear Frans and everybody,

  As expected, in French nothing corresponds exactly to the situation we observe in English.
  The verb that corresponds to crack is craqueler (and not craquer). We can have the following:

  (1)  Le vase a une craquelure  (< craqueler+ure, -ure nouns regularly denote the result cf. blessure 'wounding' < blesser 'to wound').

  (2) a. Le vase est craquelé.
  b. Le vase se craquèle. but

  c. *Le vase craquèle.

  However, we do have (3); other examples in TLF:

  (3) La chaleur a craquelé le vase.
        'Heat cracks the vase'

  For fissurer < lat. fissura 'small crack', the distribution is slightly different and more in keeping with what we have in German:

  (4)  Le vase a une fissure.
  (5) a.  Le vase est fissuré.
  b. Le vase se fissure.

  c. *Le vase fissure.

  (6) *La chaleur a fissuré le vase'

  but (7) is ok, obviously:

  (7)  La chaleur a fait se fissurer le vase.
  'Heat make the vase crack'



  Le 24 juin 08 à 13:15, Frans Plank a écrit :


  Bernard Fradin
  Tél.  33 (0) 1 57 27 57 84
  Adresse postale / postal address
  Laboratoire de linguistique formelle 
  Case 7031, 2 place Jussieu
  F-75251 PARIS CEDEX 05
  Adresse géographique /geographical address
  30, rue du Château des Rentiers
  F-75013 PARIS

  M7, bus PC2, T3: Porte d'Ivry; 
  M14: Olympiades (+ 10 mn de marche / a 10 mn walk)
  Bus 83: Marcel Duchamp

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