Palashevskaya I.V., Gorykina S.S. Cognitive and Discursive Characteristics of English Riddle

https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu2.2016.3.13

Irina Vladimirovna Palashevskaya

Doctor of Philological Sciences, Associate Professor, Department of Foreign Language Communication, Volgograd State University

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Prosp. Universitetsky, 100, 400062 Volgograd, Russian Federation

Svetlana Sergeevna Gorykina

Postgraduate Student, Department of Foreign Language Communication, Volgograd State University

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Prosp. Universitetsky, 100, 400062 Volgograd, Russian Federation


Abstract. The article focuses on specific features of English poetic riddles, their meaning construction, discourse representation and referent object positioning strategies. The term "riddle" (and its analogue - "true riddle") is widely used in folklore studies, ethnology, ethno-linguistics and is usually referred to small genre forms included in the corpus of traditional cultural texts, in which traditional, naive, mythopoeic in its nature picture of the world finds its expression. The research of traditional texts, modeling perception of the world and attitude towards it, aims to find out how the world speaks in them, to reveal internal logic of its meaning construction strategies. The analysis bases on the old English poetic riddles from the Exeter Book, as well as on A. Taylor' collection of the English riddles from oral tradition. The specific features of English poetic riddles include figurative designation of a known thing, imperative referential relation between the reality designated and its common nomination; playful usage of language to hide the meaning, that makes riddles both challenging and fun heuristic games. The dominant English riddle construction strategies encompass playful metaphorical and emblematic expression of shared cultural knowledge, transformation of the object perception, playful recombination of object's attributes, and substitution of its uncommon nominations for common ones, variable subject-object representation of reality in riddles (inversive and non-inversive riddles). The article analyses narrative and descriptive world representations in riddles, as well as storyline structures, syntagmatic organization of their plot elements.

Key words: english riddle, metaphor, mythopoeic symbolism, emblematic riddle, narrative, description.

Citation. Palashevskaya I.V., Gorykina S.S. Cognitive and Discursive Characteristics of English Riddle. Science Journal of Volgograd State University. Linguistics, 2016, vol. 15, no. 3, pp. 119-128. (in Russian). DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu2.2016.3.13

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