chapter  9
4 Pages

Classification According to Archer Taylor

The search for the best mode of ordering the folk riddle was continued by Archer Taylor. Like Lehmann-Nitsche, Taylor did not find a single comprehensive classificational principle for the true riddle. The incongruence which is referred to in the classificational scheme is not identical with that on which the definition of the true riddle is based. Taylor himself gave a modest characterization of his own work: the arrangement of a collection of riddles offers many difficulties. The older alphabetical classifications according to answers or initial words wrench apart closely related texts and are wholly unsatisfactory. In fact, Taylor introduced an improvement upon Lehmann-Nitsche. Seemingly modest, it nonetheless renders clear for the first time what previously eluded scholar's attention. The difference between Taylor and Lehman-Nitsche is inconspicuous, but it is hard to overestimate. The definition deals with the mode of description, while the classification is based on the incongruence of the described object.