Pladoyer fur eine historische Volkserzahlforschung


The analysis of folk-narratives demands the exact definition of the research aim to which the research methods are subjected. New research aims can result from the replacement of a purely descriptive by a more explicative method. The " historical-geographical" method of the "Finnish School" which - in contrast to its claim - treats folk-narratives comparatively rather than historically, should be supplemented with a rigorously historical method. This demand presupposes, firstly, the return from context-oriented to text -oriented research and, secondly, the broader application of communication-theoretical and system-theoretical approaches. Folk-narratives should then no longer be considered as mere 'composita', but also as 'intentionata' which pursue specific intentions and can be adequately judged only on their basis. Context-oriented research will have to lay more emphasis on the study of reception and reception barriers as well as on the influence of the performance milieu on traditional narratives. The influence of milieu factors on the form of narratives, however, should not be overestimated. Finally, genre analysis should be more aware of the changes which folk-narratives undergo in the process of transmission. The traditional narrative genres are, in principle, transitory, i.e. the narratives can move from one genre to another by adopting or discarding defined characteristics of a specific genre.

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Moser, D. R., (1979) “Pladoyer fur eine historische Volkserzahlforschung”, Ethnologia Europaea 11(1), 28-35. doi:


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Dietz Rüdiger Moser (Universität München)



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