chapter  2
8 Pages

Methodological Reflections

Recognition of the complexity and uniqueness of the folk riddle must be matched by the methodology of research. The platform for shaping a complex, multidimensional methodology suitable for the occasion can be defined as cultural phenomenology. History accounts for the complexity of the morphological picture. As systematic collecting of folklore is a relatively recent enterprise, each collection presents a medley of forms which were developed by different epochs and reflect the history of the genre that has been subject to morphological evolution under various conditions in particular societies. Finally, an inquiry into morphological differentiation along the historical axis yields in the act of juxtaposition a range of fundamental aspects of the riddle that comprises the genetic code of the riddle. The typical form of contemporary riddle cannot be seen as fully preserving its original state or as a testimony of its traditional functioning. Both form and function require a reconstructive effort.