Aarne-Thompson classification system

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The Aarne-Thompson classification system is a system for classifying folktales.


[edit] Background

Antti Aarne was the student of Julius Krohn and his son Kaarle Krohn. He further developed their historic-geographic method of comparative folkloristics, and developed the initial version of what became the Aarne-Thompson classification system of classifying folktales, first published in 1910. The American folklorist Stith Thompson, in translating Aarne's motif-based classification system in 1928, enlarged its scope, and with his second addition to Aarne's catalogue in 1961 created the AT-number system (also referred to as AaTh system) often used today. The AT classification system has recently (2004) been expanded by Hans-Jörg Uther to the Aarne-Thompson-Uther or ATU system[citation needed].

The Aarne-Thompson system catalogues some 2500 basic plots from which, for countless generations, European and Near Eastern storytellers have built their tales. As Europeans and Near-Easterners travelled to the New World, the Far East, Africa, and other distant places, their tales migrated as well, often flourishing in their new environments. Hence, the Aarne-Thompson system encompasses tales found around the world.
—Ashliman, p. ix

The classification was criticized by Vladimir Propp of the Formalist school of the 1920s, for ignoring the functions of the motifs by which they are classified. Furthermore, the "macro-level" analysis means that the stories that repeat motifs may not be classified together, while stories with wide divergences may be, because the classification must select some features as salient.

[edit] Types of Folktales

The following is a list of types given by the Aarne-Thompson-Uther System[1]

[edit] Animal Tales

  • Wild Animals 1–99
    • The Clever Fox (Other Animal) 1–69
    • Other Wild Animals 70–99
  • Wild Animals and Domestic Animals 100–149
  • Wild Animals and Humans 150–199
  • Domestic Animals 200–219
  • Other Animals and Objects 220–299

[edit] Tales of Magic

  • Supernatural Adversaries 300–399
  • Supernatural or Enchanted Wife (Husband) or Other Relative 400–459
    • Wife 400–424
    • Husband 425–449
    • Brother or Sister 450–459
  • Supernatural Tasks 460–499
  • Supernatural Helpers 500–559
  • Magic Objects 560–649
  • Supernatural Power or Knowledge 650–699
  • Other Tales of the Supernatural 700–749

[edit] Religious Tales

  • God Rewards and Punishes 750–779
  • The Truth Comes to Light 780–799
  • Heaven 800–809
  • The Devil 810–826
  • Other Religious Tales 827–849

[edit] Realistic Tales (Novelle)

  • The Man Marries the Princess 850–869
  • The Woman Marries the Prince 870–879
  • Proofs of Fidelity and Innocence 880–899
  • The Obstinate Wife Learns to Obey 900–909
  • Good Precepts 910–919
  • Clever Acts and Words 920–929
  • Tales of Fate 930–949
  • Robbers and Murderers 950–969
  • Other Realistic Tales 970–999

[edit] Tales of the Stupid Ogre/Giant/Devil

  • Labor Contract 1000–1029
  • Partnership between Man and Ogre 1030–1059
  • Contest between Man and Ogre 1060–1114
  • Man Kills/Injures Ogre 1115–1144
  • Ogre Frightened by Man 1145–1154
  • Man Outwits the Devil 1155–1169
  • Souls Saved from the Devil 1170–1199

[edit] Anecdotes and Jokes

  • Stories about a Fool 1200–1349
  • Stories about Married Couples 1350–1439
    • The Foolish Wife and Her Husband 1380–1404
    • The Foolish Husband and His Wife 1405–1429
    • The Foolish Couple 1430–1439
  • Stories about a Woman 1440–1524
    • Looking for a Wife 1450–1474
    • Jokes about Old Maids 1475–1499
    • Other Stories about Women 1500–1524
  • Stories about a Man 1525–1724
    • The Clever Man 1525–1639
    • Lucky Accidents 1640–1674
    • The Stupid Man 1675–1724
  • Jokes about Clergymen and Religious Figures 1725–1849
    • The Clergyman is Tricked 1725–1774
    • Clergyman and Sexton 1775–1799
    • Other Jokes about Religious Figures 1800–1849
  • Anecdotes about Other Groups of People 1850–1874
  • Tall Tales 1875–1999

[edit] Formula Tales

  • Cumulative Tales 2000–2100
    • Chains Based on Numbers, Objects, Animals, or Names 2000–2020
    • Chains Involving Death 2021–2024
    • Chains Involving Eating 2025–2028
    • Chains Involving Other Events 2029–2075
  • Catch Tales 2200–2299
  • Other Formula Tales 2300–2399

A fully detailed list is on the source site.[1]

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ a b [1], a second-hand source. Their source is: Uther, Hans-Jörg. The Types of International Folktales: A Classification and Bibliography Based on the System of Antti Aarne and Stith Thompson. Vols 1–3. FF Communications No. 284–86, Helsinki: Academia Scientiarum Fennica, 2004.

[edit] External links

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