By Annikki Kaivola-Bregenhøj
Book Description

Riddles are a journey into a fascinating world rich in delightful metaphors and ambiguity. This book is based on material drawn from all over the world and analyses both traditional true riddles and contemporary joking questions. It introduces the reader to different riddling situations and the many functions of riddles, wich vary from education to teasing, and from defusing a heated situation to entertainment. In addition to providing a survey of international riddle scholarship, the book has a comprehensive bibliography with suggestions for further reading.

This book is part of the Studia Fennica Folkloristica series.

Table of Contents
  • Riddles
  • Title Page
  • Copyright Page
  • Contents
  • Foreword and Acknowledgements
  • 1 Introduction
    • The well-known riddles and sources
    • The changing riddle tradition
    • The contemporary riddle
    • Riddles and other forms of folklore
    • Trends in research
  • 2 Debate on the Basic Issues
    • Riddle elements
    • Definitions of the riddle
  • 3 The Subgenres of the Riddles
    • True riddles
    • Joking questions
    • Visual riddles
    • Wisdom questions
    • Puzzles
    • Parody riddles
    • Literary riddles
  • 4 Sexual Riddles
    • Erotic teasing
    • The use of sexual riddles today
    • Sexual picture puzzles and spoonerisms
  • 5 The Contexts and Functions of Riddles
    • Riddling situations
    • Incidental riddling
    • The traditional contexts and users of sexual riddles
    • Riddle contests and organised games
    • Riddles as part of their context
    • The rules and restrictions governing the performance of riddles
    • The journey to Hymylä – the Finnish way of punishing the poor riddlee
    • The functions of riddles and riddling
    • A contemporary case in Northern Ireland
  • 6 The Expressive Devices of Riddles
    • Ambiguity
    • Riddle metaphors
    • The culture-bound riddle metaphor
    • Riddle formulae
    • The international riddle model
    • The semantic formula
  • 7 From Image to Answer
    • The relationship between the riddle metaphor and the answer
    • One image, many answers
    • Is it a case of guessing?
    • Arbitrary and conventional answers
  • 8 The Future of Riddle Research
  • Bibliography
  • Abbreviations
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