Images of Nature in Tuvan, Tatar, Russian, and Spanish Riddles

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The article offers evidence of contrastive ethnolinguoculturological analysis of images of major natural phenomena (the sun, the moon, the day, the night, the stars, the wind, the rain, the snow/ice) in the riddles of four folk cultures that belong to Turkic (Tuvan and Tatar), Slavic (Russian), and Romance (Spanish) linguocultures, with interpretation of peculiarities of the poetics. Nature binds together different levels of cognition, evokes imaginative associations, refers to the archetypal constants of mythopoetic creativity. Riddles about nature are presented in the verbal creativity of any ethnic group. Theoretically and practically, it is important to develop a unified ethnolinguoculturological approach to study the poetics of thematically identical riddles of multilingual cultures. The subject of the article is riddles about nature, the object is linguistic means that create images of the sun, the moon, the day, the night, the stars, the wind, the rain, the snow/ice in Tuvan, Tatar, Russian-speaking, and Spanish ethnic groups. In the study, around 400 Tuvan, Tatar, Russian and Spanish riddles about nature from books on Tuvan, Tatar, Russian and Spanish folklore were used, along with riddles found on the Internet. The study methods include semantic, interpretative, linguoculturological analysis, culturological commentary, and comparative analysis. The main objective of the article is to analyze models of figurative representation and poetics of nine natural phenomena in four linguocultures. The article establishes that the ethnolinguistic content and poetics of riddles about nature vary depending on objective natural and geographical factors, dominant folk worldview, and typological affiliation of languages. The most numerous and metaphorically branched in all four linguistic cultures were the riddles about the sun, the wind, and the moon . The investigated riddles about nature show the characteristic determinant of the Turkic and the sporadic determinant of the Russian and Spanish riddles. The similarity of the images suggests a Eurasian continuum of riddles about nature.

About the authors

Olga S. Chesnokova

Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN university)

ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7025-4098

Doctor of Philology, Professor, Department of Foreign Languages, Philological Faculty

6, Miklukho-Maklaya str., Moscow, Russian Federation, 117198

Timur F. Usmanov

Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN university)

Author for correspondence.
PhD student of the Department of Foreign Languages, Faculty of Philology 6, Miklukho-Maklaya str., Moscow, Russian Federation, 117198


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Copyright (c) 2022 Chesnokova O.S., Usmanov T.F.

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