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AarneThompsonclassificationsystemsWikipedia,thefreeencyclopedia

AarneThompsonclassificationsystems
FromWikipedia,thefreeencyclopedia

TheAarneThompsonclassificationsystemsareindicesusedtoclassifyfolktales:theAarneThompson
MotifIndex(cataloguedbyalphabeticallettersfollowedbynumerals),theAarneThompsonTaleType
Index(catalogedbyATorAaThnumbers),andtheAarneThompsonUtherclassificationsystem
(developedin2004andcatalogedbyATUnumbers).Theindicesareusedinfolkloristicstoorganize,
classify,andanalyzefolklorenarrativesandareessentialtoolsforfolkloristsbecause,asAlanDundes
explainedin1997aboutthefirsttwoindices,"theidentificationoffolknarrativesthroughmotifand/ortale
typenumbershasbecomeaninternationalsinequanonamongbonafidefolklorists".[1]

Contents
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Useinfolkloristics
Organizingfolktaletypes
HansJrgUther
Response
Seealso
References
Bibliography
Externallinks

Useinfolkloristics
Inhisessay"TheMotifIndexandtheTaleTypeIndex:ACritique",AlanDundesexplainsthattheAarne
Thompsonindexesaresomeofthe"mostvaluabletoolsintheprofessionalfolklorist'sarsenalofaidsfor
analysis".[1]AnttiAarnewasastudentofJuliusKrohnandhissonKaarleKrohn.Aarnefurtherdeveloped
theirhistoricgeographicmethodofcomparativefolkloristics,anddevelopedtheinitialversionofwhat
becametheAarneThompsontaletypeindexforclassifyingfolktales,firstpublishedin1910.
TheAmericanfolkloristStithThompsontranslatedAarne'smotifbasedclassificationsystemin1928,
enlargingitsscope.WithThompson'ssecondrevisionstoAarne'scataloguein1961,hecreatedtheAT
numbersystem(alsoreferredtoasAaThsystem),whichisoftenusedtoday,morecommonlyinitsupdated
ATUnumberform.
AccordingtoD.L.Ashliman,"TheAarneThompsonsystemcataloguessome2500basicplotsfrom
which,forcountlessgenerations,EuropeanandNearEasternstorytellershavebuilttheirtales".[2]

Organizingfolktaletypes
TheAarneThompsonTaleTypeIndexdividestalesintosectionswithan"AT"numberforeachentry.The
namesgivenaretypical,butusagevariesthesametaletypenumbermaybereferredtobyitscentralmotif
orbyoneofthevariantfolktalesofthattype,whichcanalsovary,especiallywhenusedindifferent
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countriesandcultures.Thetaletypedoesnothavetobeaccurateforeveryfolktale.Forexample,TheCat
asHelper(545B)alsoincludestaleswhereafoxhelpsthehero.Closelyrelatedfolktalesareoftengrouped
withinatype.Forexample,TaleTypes400424allfeatureBrides/Wivesastheprimaryprotagonist.For
instance,TheQuestforaLostBride(400)ortheAnimalBride(402).SubtypeswithinaTaleTypeare
designatedbytheadditionofalettertotheAT#,forinstance:thePersecutedHeroine(510)hassubtypes
510A,Cinderella,and510B,Catskin.
TheAarneThompsonMotifIndexorganizesthousandsofmotifsintoasimilarsystem.Entriesarefirst
organizedbyanumbrellatopic(forexample,category"S"is"UnnaturalCruelty").Entriesarethendivided
intomorespecificsubcategories.Forexample,entry"S50.Cruelrelativesinlaw",underwhichisthemore
specificentry"S51.1.Cruelmotherinlawplansdeathofdaughterinlaw".

HansJrgUther
TheATnumbersystemwasupdatedandexpandedin2004withthepublicationofTheTypesof
InternationalFolktales:AClassificationandBibliographybyHansJrgUther.Uthernotedthatmanyof
theearlierdescriptionswerecursoryandthattheexistingsystemdidnotallowforexpansion.[3]Toremedy
theseshortcomingsUtherdevelopedtheAarneThompsonUtherclassification(ATUnumber)[4]system
andincludedinternationalfolktalesinthisexpandedlisting.

Response
ThetaletypeindexwascriticizedbyVladimirProppoftheFormalistschoolofthe1920sforignoringthe
functionsofthemotifsbywhichtheyareclassified.Furthermore,Proppcontendedthatusinga"macro
level"analysismeansthatthestoriesthatsharemotifsmightnotbeclassifiedtogether,whilestorieswith
widedivergencesmaybegroupedunderonetaletypebecausetheindexmustselectsomefeaturesas
salient.[5]Healsoobservedthatwhilethedistinctionbetweenanimaltalesandtalesofthefantasticwas
basicallycorrectnoonewouldclassifyTsarevitchIvan,theFireBirdandtheGrayWolfananimaltale
becauseofthewolfitdidraisequestionsbecauseanimaltalesoftencontainedfantasticelements,and
talesofthefantasticoftencontainedanimalsindeedatalecouldshiftcategoriesifapeasantdeceiveda
bearratherthanadevil.[6]
Indescribingthemotivationforhiswork,[3]Utherpresentsseveralcriticismsoftheoriginalindex.He
pointsoutthatThompson'sfocusonoraltraditionsometimesneglectsolderversionsofstories,evenwhen
writtenrecordsexist,thatthedistributionofstoriesisuneven(withEasternandSouthernEuropeanaswell
asmanyotherregions'folktaletypesbeingunderrepresented),andthatsomeincludedfolktaletypeshave
dubiousimportance.
Similarly,ThompsonnotedthatitmightwellbecalledTheTypesoftheFolkTalesofEurope,WestAsia,
andtheLandsSettledbythesePeoples.[3]However,AlanDundesnotesthatinspiteoftheflawsoftaletype
indexes(e.g.,typos,redundancies,censorship,etc.),[1](p.198)"theyrepresentthekeystonesforthe
comparativemethodinfolkloristics,amethodwhichdespitepostmodernnaysayers...continuestobethe
hallmarkofinternationalfolkloristics".[1](p.200)

Seealso
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aarne%E2%80%93Thompson_classification_systems

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Morphology(folkloristics)
TheHerowithaThousandFaces

References
1.Dundes,Alan(1997)"TheMotifIndexandtheTaleTypeIndex:ACritique(http://www.jstor.org/pss/3814885)".
JournalofFolkloreResearchVol.34,No.3,pp.195202.
2.Ashliman,D.L.1987.AGuidetoFolktalesintheEnglishLanguage:BasedontheAarneThompson
ClassificationSystem.NewYork,GreenwoodPress.
3.Uther,HansJrg."Classifyingfolktales:TheThirdRevisionoftheAarneThompsonTaleTypeIndex(FFC
184)".folklorefellow.fi.
4.p.xxi,TheGreenwoodEncyclopediaofFolktalesandFairyTales,DonaldHaase,GreenwoodPublishingGroup,
2008,ISBN0313334412.
5.Propp,Vladimir.Similarly,AlanDundespointsoutthat"Aarnesmistakewasnotclassifyingtalesonthebasis
ofnarrativeplotratherthan...[oncharactersbecause]thesametalecanbetoldwitheitheranimalorhuman
characters"(197)."Introduction."TheoryandHistoryofFolklore.Ed.AnatolyLiberman.Universityof
Minnesota:UniversityofMinnesotaPress,1984.pgix
6.VladimirPropp,MorphologyoftheFolktale,p56,ISBN0292783760

Bibliography
AnttiAarne.1961.TheTypesoftheFolktale:AClassificationandBibliography,TheFinnishAcademyof
ScienceandLetters,Helsinki.ISBN9514101324
Ashliman,D.L.1987.AGuidetoFolktalesintheEnglishLanguage:BasedontheAarneThompson
ClassificationSystem.NewYork,GreenwoodPress.
Dundes,Alan.1997.TheMotifIndexandtheTaleTypeIndex:ACritique(http://www.jstor.org/pss/3814885).
JournalofFolkloreResearch34(3):195202.
Thompson,Stith.1977.TheFolktale(http://books.google.com/books/about/The_folktale.html?
id=WKN44RtM_loC).Berkeley:UniversityofCaliforniaPress.
Uther,HansJrg.2004.TheTypesofInternationalFolktales:AClassificationandBibliography.Basedonthe
systemofAnttiAarneandStithThompson.FFCommunicationsno.284286.Helsinki:Suomalainen
Tiedeakatemia.Threevolumes.ISBN9514109554(vol.1),ISBN9514109619(vol.2),ISBN951410963
5(vol.3.)
Folktaletypes(http://scandinavian.wisc.edu/mellor/taleballad/pdf_files/motif_types.pdf)PDF(40kb).Universityof
WisconsinMadisonScandinavianStudies.AccessedJune14,2010.

Externallinks
D.L.Ashliman,"FolkloreandMythologyElectronicTexts"
(http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/folktexts.html)
ReflectionsonInternationalNarrativeResearchontheExampleoftheTaleofthethreeOranges
(http://www.folklore.ee/folklore/vol27/kawan.pdf)(AT408)
IndexSchnellsucheMrchentypAT(http://www.maerchenlexikon.de/sucheat.htm)(German)
Kinnes,Tormod(2009)."TheATUSystem".ATTypesofFolktales.RetrievedJune14,2010.
AsearchtoolforATUnumbers'geographicdistribution(http://starling.rinet.ru/kozmin/tales/)
FullATUclassificationtree(http://www.mftd.org/index.php?action=atu)withnotes
Retrievedfrom"https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Aarne
Thompson_classification_systems&oldid=714020757"
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