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The Types of the Folktale : a Classiffication and Bibliography

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... Moreover, narrative content exhibits thematic consistencies across widely divergent cultures. Studies of worldwide variants of specific folktales (e.g., ``Cinderella'') and the classification of folktales by subject matter (i.e., motifs) have demonstrated that certain topics occur cross-culturally: cosmology, topography, animal characteristics and behavior, plant characteristics, birth/death, and a wide array of topics that may be loosely categorized as``as``human social behavior'' Ð for example, sex, marriage, religion, proscriptions, deception, and violence (Aarne, 1961; Cox, 1893; Edmunds & Dundes, 1983; El-Shamy, 1995; Thompson, 1957; Waterman, 1987). Finally, narrative is a highly complex psychological process, depending for its operation upon the integration of numerous cognitive mechanisms (e.g., cause-and-effect reasoning, theory of mind, language, spatial reasoning). ...
... This indeed appears to be the case. Folklore motif indexes (used by folklorists to classify folk tales by their plot contents) employ classification categories that consistently correspond to adaptively relevant domains of information: social relations (e.g., kinship, marriage, sex, social status, morality, interpersonal conflict, deception), animal behavior and characteristics, plants, geography, weather, and the cosmos (see, e.g., Aarne, 1961; El-Shamy, 1995; Thompson, 1957; Waterman, 1987). The folklore of foraging peoples exhibits a similar pattern (Turnbull, 1965; Wilbert, 1975; Wilbert & Simoneau, 1990). ...
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Narrative is a species-typical, reliably developing, complex cognitive process whose design is unlikely to have emerged by chance. Moreover, the folklore record indicates that narrative content is consistent across widely divergent cultures. I have argued elsewhere that a storyteller may use narrative to manipulate an audience's representations of the social and/or physical environment to serve his or her own fitness ends. However, my subsequent research suggests that such manipulation results from a broader selection pressure which narrative effectively alleviates: information acquisition. By substituting verbal representations for potentially costly first-hand experience, narrative enables an individual to safely and efficiently acquire information pertinent to the pursuit of fitness in local habitats. If this hypothesis is true, narrative should be rich with information useful to the pursuit of fitness. One class of information integral to the accomplishment of this task is foraging knowledge. In this paper, then, I present evidence that foraging peoples use narrative to transmit subsistence information: specifically, I demonstrate how various narrative devices (e.g., setting, description, mimicry, anthropomorphism) are used to communicate foraging knowledge.
... The first historical reference is the murder of Abel by Cain (The Book of Genesis, 4, 1-16; The Qur'an, 5:26-32). Greek mythology is extremely rich with sibling rivalry tales (e.g., Aëdon & Niobe, Atreus & Aegistus), as well as the world folktale treasure (Aarne, 1961). Herskovits and Herskovits (1958) believe that "Rivalry between siblings, hitherto disregarded in discussions of myth must be taken as a basic force in molding patterns of interaction (p. 1). ...
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A most common belief is that giftedness is the cause of problems in sibling relationships when the family is "mixed", has at least one gifted child, and at least one non-gifted one. This belief has been accepted not only by parents and educators of the gifted, but also by researchers in the area of gifted education in general and counseling the gifted family in particular. However, quantitative studies have shown that in most case gifted families maintain healthy connections, a high level of psychological adjustment and positive coping strategies(Mathews et al., 1986; Silverman, 1993a).Relationships among gifted and non-gifted siblings have not been widely studied. Thus, until the Chamrad et al.(1995) study the common belief was that having a gifted child has a negative influence on the sibling relationships. Our work is the first Israeli one that examines a whole population, all gifted children invited to participate at the enrichment program for the gifted in Eilat, the most southern Israeli city, with a population of approximately 50,000, in the year 2007/2008. We studied the 6 following parameters of sibling relationships: friendship, empathy, learning, rivalry, conflict and avoidance. We found that the labeling of one sibling as "gifted" in Eilat did not have a negative influence on the sibling relationship. This result is of crucial importance, as many parents prefer not to send their gifted children to the enrichment program for the gifted I order not to harm the relationships between the gifted and the no-gifted sibling
... The usage of plan hierarchies can be much enriched if literary indices are made available. For folktales, for example, there is the monumental index compiled by Aarne and Thompson (Aarne 1964). Their identified themes and motifs have always been an inexhaustible source of inspiration for novice and even experienced authors. ...
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A key issue in interactive storytelling is how to generate stories which are, at the same time, interesting and coherent. On the one hand, it is desirable to provide means for the user to intervene in the story. But, on the other hand, it is necessary to guarantee that user intervention will not introduce events that violate the rules of the intended genre. This paper describes the usage of a plan recognition / plan generation paradigm in LOGTELL, a logic-based tool for the interactive generation and dramatization of stories. We focus on the specification of a formal logic model for events and characters' behaviour and on how the tool helps the interactive composition of plots through the adaptation of fully or partially generated plots. Based on the model, the user can interact with the tool at various levels, obtaining a variety of stories agreeable to individual tastes, within the imposed coherence requirements. The system alternates stages of goal inference, planning, plan recognition, user intervention and 3D visualization. Our experiments have shown that the system can be used not only for entertainment purposes but also, more generally, to help in the creation and adaptation of stories in conformity with a specified genre.
... Using predefined plots as building blocks corresponds, in Artificial Intelligence terminology, to start from commonly used scripts, rather than constructing new plots from scratch with the primitive operations [44]. In literary terminology, there is a notion analogous to scripts, namely types and motifs, as in the monumental index compiled by Aarne and Thompson [1]. Plots are modeled as partially ordered sets of events. ...
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In this paper, we introduce a formalism to specify interactive storytelling genres in the context of digital entertainment, adopting an information systems approach. We view a genre as a set of plots, where a plot is a partially ordered sequence of events, taken from a fixed repertoire. In general, the specification of a genre should allow to determine whether a plot is a legitimate representative of the genre, and also to generate all plots belonging to the genre. The formalism divides the specification of a genre into static, dynamic and behavioral schemas, that reflect a plan recognition/plan generation paradigm. It leads to executable specifications, supported by LOGTELL, a prototype tool that helps users generate, modify and reuse plots that follow a genre specification. To illustrate the use of the formalism, we specify a simple Swords & Dragons genre and show plots generated by the tool.
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Cette note de recherche a pour objectif de présenter les résultats d’une enquête sur le terrain effectuée à Pubnico, Nouvelle-Écosse, mon village d’origine, entre 2004 et 2006. Il s’agissait d’évaluer le dynamisme de la littérature orale de cette région acadienne. La problématique de la recherche se concentre sur les questions suivantes : est-ce qu’il existe dans la mémoire des gens des récits folkloriques, transmis de génération en génération, par le bouche-à-oreille sans l’aide de l’écriture ? Est-ce que la pratique des récits oraux joue un rôle important dans ce milieu ? Si oui, quels genres sont actifs de nos jours ? L’enquête révèle, entre autres, que la pratique des récits oraux est un phénomène culturel encore dynamique à Pubnico et elle met en valeur l’importance de récits appartenant à des genres moins classiques qui intéressaient peu les premiers ethnologues, comme l’anecdote.
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Researchers have long been fascinated by the strong continuities evident in the oral traditions associated with different cultures. According to the 'historic-geographic' school, it is possible to classify similar tales into "international types" and trace them back to their original archetypes. However, critics argue that folktale traditions are fundamentally fluid, and that most international types are artificial constructs. Here, these issues are addressed using phylogenetic methods that were originally developed to reconstruct evolutionary relationships among biological species, and which have been recently applied to a range of cultural phenomena. The study focuses on one of the most debated international types in the literature: ATU 333, 'Little Red Riding Hood'. A number of variants of ATU 333 have been recorded in European oral traditions, and it has been suggested that the group may include tales from other regions, including Africa and East Asia. However, in many of these cases, it is difficult to differentiate ATU 333 from another widespread international folktale, ATU 123, 'The Wolf and the Kids'. To shed more light on these relationships, data on 58 folktales were analysed using cladistic, Bayesian and phylogenetic network-based methods. The results demonstrate that, contrary to the claims made by critics of the historic-geographic approach, it is possible to identify ATU 333 and ATU 123 as distinct international types. They further suggest that most of the African tales can be classified as variants of ATU 123, while the East Asian tales probably evolved by blending together elements of both ATU 333 and ATU 123. These findings demonstrate that phylogenetic methods provide a powerful set of tools for testing hypotheses about cross-cultural relationships among folktales, and point towards exciting new directions for research into the transmission and evolution of oral narratives.
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Podemos concluir este trabajo reflexionando en que a pesar de la supuesta modernidad de nuestras sociedades, de los diferentes métodos y enfoques, de las diferentes culturas que nos rodean, los seres humanos seguimos teniendo la necesidad de escuchar cuentos. Quizás no de la misma forma que nuestros antepasados. En buena medida hemos dejado la oralidad atrás, también la lectura, la forma de contar historias hoy es diferente. La imagen se impone, mas a medida que avanzan las nuevas tecnologías. Pese a ello seguimos reuniéndonos para escuchar historias, en un teatro, en los cines cada vez mas grandes (son raras las personas a las que les gusta ir solas al cine o al teatro), en las salas de nuestras casas viendo una película con nuestros hijos o con nuestra familia en pantallas cada vez mas grandes y con nuevos aparatos de sonido envolvente. Las series que tienen una duración de poco mas de media hora nos cuentan historias simples que nos atraen, igual que las telenovelas, herederas del folletín y llenas de tramas y subtramas, enredos y desencuentros que nos pueden recordar a la Mil y una noches. Este tipo de historias nos son necesarias, hemos reinventado el cuento en mensajes de correo electrónico que nos cuentan chistes y chanzas, historias ingeniosas y divertidas o truculentos relatos como las leyendas urbanas. Todos cortos y en su mayoría ficticios, que se asemejan en origen al cuento tradicional, los Chats son la nueva oralidad, las tecnologías los nuevos narradores. Para mantener nuestra atención, igual que en otros tiempos el cuento se adapta, cambia, busca un resquicio por el que colarse. Asume y adapta los mejores tropos del teatro, adquiere las formulas de los antiguos narradores, nos acercan el cuento aumentado y corregido. En el trayecto los cuentos pueden haber perdido su inocencia, si alguna vez la tuvieron, o parte de su simbología. A cambio los hemos situado en nuestro mundo, los hemos dotado de nuevas claves, de nueva simbología o hemos redefinido la que ya tenían, lo hemos hecho nuestro. Hemos cambiado los animales de las fábulas por seres digitales de otros mundos, la magia por la tecnología. No en vano la palabra símbolo proviene el griego “σίμβολον”, religar. Les hemos dado un nuevo envoltorio que nos es más familiar, mas conocido. Vemos por tanto que el cuento sigue siendo cercano a nosotros, una forma de trasmitir emociones y de informar sobre el mundo que nos rodea a nuestros seres más cercanos. Sigue siendo moralizante en la medida que nos avisa y da formas de actuación ante el mundo. Nos presenta nuestra sociedad y sus usos y modos, como hacerles frente y no correr ningún peligro. Aunque podemos creer que son algo del pasado solo tenemos que ver los dibujos animados de nuestros hijos, sus estructuras y mensajes son los mismos que los del cuento, adaptado y cambiado como ya hemos dicho, cuando no tomados directamente de los cuentos mas conocidos, ejemplos que tenemos en las adaptaciones de Disney a la gran pantalla. En la forma en que se manipulan, aun hoy, los cuentos y relatos que son de todos conocidos.
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The article discusses the functioning of the plot of a fixed tale typeATU 1579 (Carrying a Wolf, a Goat, and a Cabbage across the Stream) as a riddle and a narrative and its forms which have surrounded the plot and originate in traditional folklore genres. Folklore, reconstructed and placed in new contexts, emerges in new genres. In the present computer era, the plot has not only emerged in narrative and riddle genre, but has emerged in an entirely new context – it has been widely applied in the form of an interactive computer game. The different forms, contexts, functions and goals of the type plot may be regarded as aspects of the dynamic folklore process.
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The article discusses the functioning of the plot of the fixed tale type ATU 1579 (Carrying a Wolf, a Goat, and a Cabbage across the Stream) as a riddle and a narrative and as its forms which have surrounded the plot and originate in traditional folklore genres. In addition to the narrative genre and the riddle genre, the plot has been widely applied in the form of an interactive computer game. The different forms and goals of a type plot may be regarded as points of contact of folklore and folkloristic.
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