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Key words
Russian folklore, traditional games, cumulative folktales, plot structure, action folklore texts
About the Author
E-mail: Tel.: +7 (495) 434 -72- 82
82–2, Vernadskogo av., Moscow, 119571, Russian Federation
PhD (Philology), research fellow, The Moscow School of Social and Economic Science

In this article the author compares the action folklore texts (traditional games) with verbal texts (cumulative folk-tales and songs) from the structural point of view. Between them there appear matches regarding both the structure and the topics: depiction of rows of refe- rences, robberies, purchases, swaps, mutual “destructions”, “shifting of guilt” etc. The author’s aim is to understand cause of similarities. The discussion of the main question is based on Russian folklore materials recorded during the 19th century.

Various types of repetition and “threading” in the verbal and action texts are described as different ways of realization of the common principle for the structural organization which the author calls a “row”. As it turns out the similarities between the verbal and the action “cumulative” texts are an expression of the cognitive operations they are based on: a) highlighting common characteristics between the objects; b) drawing connections between them; c) grouping of the objects and actions; d) establishing a hierarchy among the objects and the actions inside the groups.

That said, the evidence shows that the realization of the “row” structure in the games compared to the folk-tales has its peculiarities: such structures are primary for the action texts and secondary for the verbal ones. There in the games, the characters and the actions are multiplied immediately, the realization levels of the structural principle “row” (the level of metaphors, cha- racters, composition and such of the plot) are not distinguished. In the verbal cumulative texts only the utterances are stringed, repetitions on different levels are realized independently and are perceived as purposefully used “techniques”. This “separation in different layers” and “flattening” can be interpreted as a distortion of the quantity’s three-dimensional structure during its transformation into a linear sequence.


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