International journal

Speech Genres

ISSN 2311-0759 (Online)
ISSN 2311-0740 (Print)

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Palashevskaya I. V., Kondrashova S. S. English Riddle. Speech Genres, 2017, no. 1(15), pp. 66-71. DOI: 10.18500/2311-0740-2017-1-15-66-71

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English Riddle

Palashevskaya Irina Vladimirovna, Volgograd State University
Kondrashova Svetlana Sergeevna, Volgograd Professional college №50

Riddle is a playful representation of a known object, figuratively coding its designation and assuming the direct name actualization of this object in a recipient's reaction. Riddles refer to the folklore genre, the basic functions of which are entertainment and enlightenment. These functions are expressed in constitutive features of the riddle and its textual construction. The article focuses on such English riddle features, as indirectness, axiological and heuristic game character, fascinativeness, as well as manipulative potential. English riddle uses a metaphorical expression of shared cultural knowledge as the key way of its text-making. Depending on the type of metaphor it is possible to distinguish biomorphic, zoomorphic, anthropomorphic, phytomorphic, reimorphic, complex and genealogical (family relationships) riddles. The article also considers the transformation of an object perception, playful recombination of object’s attributes as the ways of game activity text representation. The analysis bases on the old English poetic riddles from the Exeter Book, as well as A. Taylor’ collection of the English riddles from oral tradition and riddles from F.J. Child’s «The English and Scottish Popular Ballads».

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