NYFS logo    tagline
 Pinto Guira making guiramaking a mandalaplaying mandolin
 


New York Folklore Quarterly, Vol. XX, No. 4, December 1964

View the Table of Contents here. Back issues of New York Folklore Quarterly (1945–1974) and single articles are available for purchase.
JOIN the New York Folklore Society today to receive Voices.


Cover of NY Folklore Quarterly

Support the New York Folklore Society

NEW YORK FOLKLORE QUARTERLY
Vol. XX, No. 4, December, 1964

ON GAME MORPHOLOGY:
A STUDY OF THE STRUCTURE OF NON-VERBAL FOLKLORE
by Alan Dundes

ARE children’s games, a form of non-verbal folklore, and folktales, a form of verbal folklore, structurally similar? I am suggesting in the following article that they are and also that there are many other non-verbal analogues to verbal folklore forms. Consequently, the definition of folklore should not be limited to verbal materials.

Although structural analysis, as an effective means of descriptive ethnography, has been applied to a number of types of folklore expression, it has not been employed in the study of children’s games. Yet games, in general, and competitive games, in particular, are obviously patterned. In competitive games, the participants are aware that play is governed by definite limiting rules. The application and the interrelationship of these rules result in an ordered sequence of actions by the players, and these action sequences constitute the essential structure of any particular game.

In order to delineate the structure of a game, or any other form of folklore, one must have a minimum structural unit. Only with such a unit can there be any precise segmentation of the continuum of game action. As a trial unit, I propose to use the motifeme, a unit of action which has been used in structural studies of folktales. One obvious advantage of employing the motifeme is that if game action can, in fact, be broken down into motifemes, then it would be relatively easy to compare the structure of games with the structure of folktales....


Voices is the membership magazine of the New York Folklore Society. To become a subscriber, join the New York Folklore Society today.


TO PURCHASE A BACK ISSUE of the New York Folklore Quarterly, visit our online book store.


TO PURCHASE THIS ARTICLE from the New York Folklore Quarterly, use the form here.



Right Arrow Image    BACK TO THE NEW YORK FOLKLORE QUARTERLY.

 



New York Folklore Quarterly
PURCHASE A SINGLE ARTICLE

To order a single article, please enter volume number, issue number, and title of the article you wish and click on an order button below to purchase through Paypal or with your credit card. We will send you a PDF of the article via e-mail upon receipt of your order.

ITEM #603
Single Article $3.00




Volume No. & Issue



Title







Member Price  $2.00



Volume No. & Issue



Title










NEW YORK FOLKLORE SOCIETY ♦ 129 Jay Street ♦ Schenectady, NY 12305 ♦ 518.346.7008 ♦ Fax 518.346.6617 ♦ nyfs@nyfolklore.org