Folk formulas in english riddles

Naylya Faizullina, Nailya Fattahova


Folklore texts have recently become the object of increasing linguistic and cultural analysis. The reason for this is the fact that folklore texts, which are characterized by stability of their structure seem to reflect the national perception of the world. Riddles attract scientists because of complexity of their structural organization, as well as the uniqueness of the encoding of the denotation. In the article the author explores presence of folk formulas in the English folk riddles. The authors come to the conclusion that there are two types of stable formulas. The first group of formulas is used to denote the beginning or the end of the riddle. Such formulas essentially perform the pragmatic function focusing the listener on the subsequent message, or motivate for the quick finding the right answer. The second group is involved in the encoding of the denotation, but does not bring additional information. The authors put forward the assumption, that the second group phrases were created due to English national thinking and way of life of archaic man.


riddle, folklore, folk formula, pragmatics, denotation

Full Text:



Erofeeva, I.V. (2014). Nominalization in linguocultural paradigm of chronicles, Life Science Journal, 11(11). Pp.438-442.

Kulkova, M. A., Fattakhova, N.N., Zinecker, T. (2015). Paremiological text hermeneutics (in Russian and German), Journal of Language and Literature, 6(2), pp.356-360.

Kulkova, M. A., Galimullina, R.I., (2015). Human factor in Paramiology: The social vs. The Individual, The Social Sciences, 10 (5), pp. 586-589.

Chernousova, I. P., Nekrasov, N. (2012). Folklore of the formula: at the intersection of tradition and text. Vestnik of KSU, 2(1), P. 106-110.

Reeder, R. (1981). Semiotica. A structural analysis of the Russian folk riddles, 33.(3-4), pp. 237-260.

Maranda, E.K. (1971). The logic of riddles. Structural analysis of oral tradition. Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press, pp.189-232.

Petsch, R. (1899). Neue Beiträge zur Kenntnis des Volksrsitsels. Berlin: Paelestra IV, p.168.

Roger, A.D., Dundes. A. (1972). Riddles In Folklore and Folklife: An Introduction, ed. Richard Dorson, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, pp. 129- 143.

Toporov, V.N. (1994). Iz nablyudeniy za zagadkoy, Research in the field of Balto-Slavic spiritual culture, the mystery of the text. Moscow: "Indrik", Pp. 10-117.

Levin, Y.I. (1978). Semanticheskaya structura zagadki, Paremiological collection. Proverb. Riddle (The Structure. Sense. Text). – M.: Nauka, Pp. 282-313.

Sedakova, I.A., Tolstaya, S.M., Zagadki. (1999). Slavic antiquities. Ethnolinguistic dictionary in 5 vol. under the General editorship of N. And. Tolstoy. M. International relations, 2. pp. 233-237.

Shapovalov, V.A. (2017). A landlord flew, fell on the water without making a stir: The landlord (barin) in the Russian folk riddles. Ural`skij Istoriceskij Vestnik, 55(2), pp. 131-138.

Faizullina, N., Fattahova, N. (2016). Culture-science competence formation at Russian lessons as a Foreign language, Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods. Special Issue December, pp. 134-138.

Faizullina, N., Fattakhova, N. (2016). Sign nature of riddle: ecolinguistic aspect, Journal of Language and Literature, 7(2), pp 336-339.

Mardieva, L.A. (2014). From sensual framework of a word to social stereotypes of consciousness, Life Science Journal, 11(10). pp. 634 – 637.

Simashko, T.V. (2016). Modeling of conceptual structures based on denotative associated unit, West. SEV. (Arctic.) Feder. Univ. Series.: Gumanit. And, 6(1), pp.128-137.

Taylor, A. (1951). English riddles from oral tradition. London: Oxford University Press, p.958.

Nicolas, T. (1872). Annals and Antiquities of the counties and county families of Wales. London. London Longmans, p.997.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Revista Publicando.

Licencia de Creative Commons


This Content is available under licencia de Creative Commons Reconocimiento-NoComercial-CompartirIgual 4.0 Internacional.