The Mythological Concept ‘Shadow’ (On The Material Of Folk Riddles)

Abstract



Keywords: Archetypemythometaphormythologemeconcetptual-comparative analysismicrocosmriddle

Introduction

The author of an archetype is C.G. Jung. He distinctly defined the negative in human existence and called it shadow – an opposition of a light projecting on a personality (Jung, 1966). Like other archetypes shadows kept on developing almost till now. Archetypes present “peculiar cognitive images upon which instinctive behavior orientate” (Kulturologiya XX century, 1998, p. 36-37).

The archetypes of a shadow had appeared in an epic era and remained in the culture as an important historical aspect influencing on a consciousness of a person and the whole collective and it is reflected as literature and art plots. Shadows take the utmost position close to darkness if they are opposite to light. Shadow belongs to the world of death, infernality, the lower world. In belletristic literature a female incarnation of a shadow can replace a human sacrifice in a building ritual. (Meshcheryakova & Shesterkina, 2013, 2015).

In linguistics an archetype is often defined as “an archetypal concept” (Afanasieva, 2019; Boyko, 2016; Ivanova, 2017; Kolosov, 2013; Shushpanova, 2019, etc.). In our research of folk riddles they are presented as poetic creations, relating to small forms of folklore, and are considered a locus of preservation of archaisms, pagan traces, myths, that is why we relate them to mythological concepts and their senados is presented as mythologeme (Shesterkina, 2016).

An archaic world view is reflected in the monuments of oral folk art. The texts keep enormous layers of archaic vocabulary. With the help of comparative analysis we studied several national types of myth-concepts (Russian, German, Mordovian).

Problem Statement

The notion shadow / shadows is realized by mystic ideas and rich symbolism. In ancient times a shadow of a human or an animal was his or its soul: its ”loss” was equal to the loss of life, that is why in some countries during the funeral till present time it is recommended to stay away from the grave in order that a shadow of a person who is accompanying the dead could not touch the grave; otherwise, reflected, it will not be able to return to the body and it will cause death (Makovsky, 1996). Categories of a shadow are correlated to the meanings “corruption”, “damage”, “ruin”: ang. scéad “shadow”, but ang. scéadu “corruption”, “damage” (eng. dial. scathe “to cause damage”, “to spoil”); rus. тень, but eng. dial. teen “ruin”, “corruption”, “damage”; lit. pa-unksne “shadow”, lit. ukas “fog”, ind.-eur. *ueg- “defect” (arm. gez “spot”, “stain”, ga. feigh “fault”, “blemish”); lit. pa-vesis “shadow”, but old-ind. nivasita “ums Leben gebracht” («cause a death»), nivasana-m “das Ermorden” («death»), “Töten” (to kill); lat. umbra “shadow”, got. ubils “bad”, eng. dial. obering “bad sign”; scc.-cr. hladovi-na “shadow”, but wel. llod “kill”, lat. laedere “harm”. The words with a meaning “shadow” are correlated with the meaning “to leave”, “to part (from body)” [in place cited].

The prediction about a demonic double of a person, where a shadow personifies evil, is connected to a shadow (Andersen has a story about a shadow parted with its master) (Adamchik, 2006). “Shadow” is related to the meaning “fire” > («soul»): rus. тень; gal. teinn “fire”; ang. scéad “shadow”, but lav. kaitet “to heat, to warm”, old.north. heitr “hot”; lit. pa-uksne “shadow”, but ind.-eur. *ug-, *og- “fire; to burn”; lav. ena “shadow”; ind.-eur. an(dh)- “fire” > “soul” (Makovsky, 1996). A shadow presents a soul, often in a lower aspect. In some languages the meanings “shadow” and “soul” are one word. There is a typical idea that a shadow as the second “I” is a vitally important part of a person: a soul as a shadow comes to a sleeping, clairvoyant [in place cited]. (Compare animistic notions about soul and spirits). In European folklore there are stories about people who had lost their shadows (compare “Peter Schlemihl” by А. Chamisso); a man without shadow is a man who had sold his soul to the devil, he has no shadow.

According to etymology a shadow is an all-Slavic word with a suffix -нь having the same base as darkness. The original is *těmnь > shadow after simplification of the consonants mn > n  and changing of «ять» into е (Shansky & Bobrova, 2004). A German concept ‘Schatten’ (“shadow”) is also connected to mystic ideas, it originates from ind.-eur. *(s)kai-dh- “to burn” with a changing of a meaning to the contrary connected to ind.-eur. *kei- “to cut, to rub” > “to strike fire” (Makovsky, 2004). Dictionary (Haale, 1961) defines the kinship of this word with Celtic and Greek skótos “Dunkelheit” / “darkness”.

German have a shadow also connected to a human soul (Die Seele ist der Schatten des Menschen – “Soul is a shadow of a person”). In German folklore the kingdom of dead is called kingdom of shadows (Pimenov, 2009). The meaning of death correlating to a shadow is inseparably connected to the meaning of life (dyad life - death): comp. rus. тень, but lav. tene “mesentery” (> “genitals”); ang. scéad “shadow”; ind.-eur. *kud- “vulva”; lit. pa-uksne “shadow”»; arm. ogi “soul”; lav. ena “shadow”; bre. ene “soul” (ind.-eur. *an- “to breath, soul”) (Makovsky, 1996). A shadow is a ghost of a dead person. Greeks have their kingdom of dead inhabited with ghostly shadows (Adamchik, 2006). Ancient Slaviс people did not distinguish paradise and hell, they "believed in a single world beyond the grave situated far away over the seas, in heavens" or under the ground. According to beliefs, during the remebrence days Polessky dead come from the cemetery to their native houses and then “come back to the churchyard as white shadows” (Tolstoy, 1995).

The reflection of a person in the water presaged death. The words with the meaning “shadow” correlate to the meanings “liquid, moisture, water”: rus. тень, but ang. ðan “wet”, and also gre. θανατος “death”; lit. dial. uksme “shadow”; but ind.-eur. *ues- /*uer- “water, moisture”, ang. scéad “shadow”; but ang. géotan “to pour” (Makovsky, 1996). According to C. Jung, a shadow is connected to collective unconscious, which constantly “let the consciousness know about itself”. It comes up in consciousness as archetypical images seen in the dreams, during spirit seance or a mystic trance. Archetypes show themselves in consciousness as personified and material images; the most common among them is the ”Shadow” of a man, his inner opponent, with whom he constantly has a dialogue (comp. for example, “A Black man” by S. Yesenin). In the “Shadow” the dark qualities of a soul are personified, this is the other side of his own individuality, realizable by a person, and a meeting with it, by Jung, is not pleasant (Kosarev, 2000). “The one who looks at the mirror of waters, first of all sees his own reflection. Going to himself risks to meet himself” (Jung), it means, to meet with his Shadow, see his real face. Only the one who is able to stand this spectacle and not to recoil in horror, can expect a successful going out [in place cited: 114]. Probably this explains the version of a solution – “Shadow” in the riddle: rus. Stoit starik nad vodoy, kachayet borodoy (1898) – “There is an old man above the water, swaying his beard”: a man looks at the water and sees himself an old person with a beard (anthropomorphic mythological metaphor).

Research Questions

Shadow is a constant “companion” of a light and this is what we see when we verbalize the concepts Schatten / Licht (Shadow / light) in German language through the ‘conceptual feature’ (onward CF) “the connection of light and darkness”, comp.: “Where is light, there are shadows”; (rus. “Where is a lot of good, there is [a lot of] bad”). In this phraseological unit there is also a СF “good / bad impact”. ‘Shadow’ and ‘darkness’ are etymologically connected in both languages. German Schatten correlates with ind.eur. root *skai-, *ski- “gedämpft schimmern” [to shimmer], old gle. scath “shadow”, got. skadus “darkness” (Makovsky, 2004).

According to the etymological diary of D.V. Tsygankin and M.V. Mosin (Tsygankin & Mosin, 2015), the word “сулей” / “shadow” has Finno-Ugric roots. In Finnish suoja means “cover; protection; sanctuary”, in Mansi language salt is “hoar”. Ugric languages, as we know, are a special branch of Finno-Ugric languages, which, in their turn, together with a Samoyed branch, unite into the common for them Ural language family. Hungarian, Khanty, Mansi are Ugric languages.

Purpose of the Study

Comparative analysis of the mythological concept (hereafter referred: myth-concept) ’SHADOW’ in Indo-European (Russian and German) and in Finno-Ugric (Mordovian-Moksha and Mordovian-Erzya) languages, belonging to the different language families.

Research Methods

Сonceptual-comparative analysis we studied several national types myth-concepts.

Findings

Therefore, the analysis of ancient versions of nominations shadow / Schatten / сулей / цильф lets us detect many of their negative connotations. Let's look at their CFs in the structure of Russian, German and Mordovian folk riddles (Moksha and Erzya), relating to weather phenomena, covering those which every person can see, because the impressions of a naive observer, evaluating and describing the world, as he sees it, are reflected in them. In the riddles we can detect following CFs in the concepts ‘ Shadow’/ ‘Schatten ’ (“shadow”):

1) universality of having a shadow : Russian riddles are given in transliteration and in English language: rus. You have it, I have it, an oak in the field has it, a fish in the sea has it” . In German riddles everyone has a shadow but God: “I have it, you have it, everyone has it, but our Lord”. There is no such a phenomenon in Mordovian languages.

2) a constant companion of a person : rus. “Not alive, but moves. You go from it, it follows you ”; “You go – and it goes ”; “On the left, on the right, behind me goes after me” ; “I follow you wherever you go, but I don't show up in the sunlight”; mdf . Шись мани – Сон мельган пани, Шись эженди – Сон эздон кяшенди. – “The day is clear – It chases me The day is usual – It hides from me”; Тяйсеса – аф тяйсеви, Керсеса – аф керсеви, Пинге сай – сонць юмай. – “Sweep, sweep – cannot sweep, Cut, cut – cannot cut, Time will come – it will go itself”; Монь ули ялгазе, Фалу эсон (мушенды); Кда шись кяшеви – Сон эздон кяши. – “I have a friend, She always finds me; When the sun goes away – She leaves me”; Монь ули ялгазе, Мархтон якай, аф ляды, Серцек моли – аф корхтай. – “I have a friend [shadow], she follows me, doesn't fall behind, Comes near – doesn't talk”; Ушу лисян – тейнза муван, Куду суван – аф муван. – “I go outside – it meets me, I come inside – it doesn't find me”; Фалу мархтон якай, / Эстейнь аф кундави. – “Always comes with me, But cannot be caught”; Монь ули ялгазе, Молят – моли, Лоткат – лоткай, Шись юмай – сонга юмай. – “I have a friend [shadow], I go – he goes, I stop – and he stops – the sun disappears – and he disappears; moĺan, moĺi, lotkan, lotkai, ṕəšḱä·d́an, af korءtai. – “You go – it goes, you stop – it stops, you ask – it doesn't answer”); myv . Молян – моли, Лоткан – лотки, Ярсамс максан – а ярсы. – “I go – it goes, I stop – it stops, I give some food – it doesn't eat”; ćįjan, ćįji; lotkan, lotḱi; t́ikšęt́ kajan, a jarcį. – “I run and she runs, I stop – she stops, I throw hay – she doesn't eat”.

3) bodiless, incorporeity : rus. “What can't you take from the ground ?”; “What can't you carve out of the wall ?”; “What has no body but it's seen?”; “Walks with no legs , sleeves with no arms , mouth with no speech”. This CF can bring together a nomination shadow with a nomination ghost that has no flesh as well. deu. “You cannot get me up. Who am I?”; “You can see me with your eyes, you can't touch me with your hands”; mdf . Тяйсеса – аф тяйсеви, Керсеса – аф керсеви, Пинге сай – сонць юмай. – ”Sweep, sweep - cannot sweep, Cut, cut – cannot cut, Time will come – it will go itself”; myv. Тенсеса – а тенсеви, Керсеса – а керсеви, Кунцян прязонзо – а макссы. – “Sweep, sweep – cannot sweep, Cut, cut – cannot cut, Take its head – it doesn't yield”.

4) intangibility : rus . Chto nikogda ne poymayesh? What can never be caught ?” ; Ty ot neyo ona za toboy, ty k ney ona ot tebya. You go from it - it follows you, you come to it - it goes from you” ; Hot' ves' den' gonyaysya za ney ne poymayesh'. You can chase it all day long, but you can't catch it” ; Odin ubegayet, drugoy dogonyayet, a dognat' ne mozhet. One runs away, another follows, but cannot catch up with” ; deu. “If you hunt it, it runs from you, if you runs from it, it hunts you”; mdf. Шись мани – Сон мельган пани, Шись эженди – Сон эздон кяшенди. – “The day is clear – It chases me, The day is cloudy – It hides from me”; Фалу мархтон якай, Эстейнь аф кундави. – “Always comes with me, But cannot be caught”; myv. Эрьке ведьсэ, Сырнень мацей экшели, Киненьгак а кундави”. – “In the lake A silver goose swims, Nobody can catch it”;

5) it changes with day time : rus. Poutru v sazhen', v polden' s pyaden', a k vecheru cherez pole hvatayet. – “In the morning it is long [like one fathom, which is 2,13 m], in the afternoon it is like pyaden' [an old measure of length which is the distance between the thumb and second finger] and in the evening it is so long it goes through the whole field”. In the afternoon it's small, it gets bigger in size before sunset and gets longer: deu. “You often see it in the sunlight, in the afternoon it is short and small, at the sunset it's growing and getting as long as a tree”; “It's seen in the sunlight, it the morning it's rather long, in the afternoon it's short and small, gets bigger at the sunset”. There is a continuation in the next riddle: “…in the evening it is the longest and you can't see it at night”. A shadow changes daily and nightly, under the sun and moon light; it crawls quietly before a person or behind him, goes up and down; as big as a giant or as a midget: “I follow you day and night, in the sun and moon light, I crawl quietly, before you and after you, go down the valley, come up the hill, I'm a giant and a midget”; mdf . iĺä·t́, šobdava af ńäjəv́i, ab´e·čkada af kadəv́i. – “You can't see it in the evening and in the morning, it doesn't go away / disappear in the afternoon”; šiś ĺiśi, soŋga šači; šiś [valg´i] soŋga kulį – “The sun rises, it is born, the sun sets, it dies”; Шобдава и илять няеви кувакаста, Шинь кучкать – нюрьхкяняста. – “It gets longer in the evening, it gets shorter in the day time”; In the morning and in the evening it is long, In the day time it is short; Монь ули ялгазе, Фалу эсон (мушенды); Кда шись кяшеви – Сон эздон кяши. – “I have a girl-friend, She always finds me; When the sun goes away – She leaves me; Шись лиси – сонга лиси, Шись юмай – сонга юмай. – “The sun rises – She [girl-friend] comes out, The sun sets – she goes away”; Шись лиси-ваны – Монга лисян-ванан; Шись кяши-машты – Монга кяшан-маштан. – “The sun rises – watches – And I come, guard; The sun sets – and I will disappear”; Шись мани – Сон мельган пани, Шись эженди – Сон эздон кяшенди. – “The day is clear – it chases me, The day is cloudy – she hides from me”; Ушу лисян – тейнза муван, Куду суван – аф муван. – “I go outside – it meets me, Come inside - it doesn't find me”; Шись няйсамань – Сон мусамань; Шись юмафтсамань – Сонга кадсамань. – “The sun will see me – She [girl-friend] finds me; the sun will lose me – She goes away from me”; Шись юмай – сонга юмай. – “The sun disappears - and he [friend] disappears”; myv. Чись лиси – сонгак лиси, Чись ёми – сонгак ёми. – “The sun rises – she comes out, the sun sets – and she goes away”.

6) invulnerability : rus. Chto na vode lezhit, da ne tonyet? What lies on the water but doesn't drown ?” ; it goes deep in the water, but doesn't get wet: deu. „What goes in the water, but doesn't get wet?”; “I don't get into the water, don't burn in the fire, don't get cold in steppe”. mdf. Тяйсеса – аф тяйсеви, Керсеса – аф керсеви, Пинге сай – сонць юмай. – “Sweep, sweep – cannot sweep, Cut, cut – cannot cut, The time will come – it will go itself”; myv. Эрьке ведьсэ Сырнень мацей экшели, Киненьгак а кундави. – “In the lake A silver goose swims, Nobody can catch it”; Кунцян прязонзо – а макссы. – “Take its head – it doesn't yield”.

In Russian and Mordovian riddles there are additional CF s:

1) it's impossible to get rid of a shadow : rus. Kogo s zemli plet'u ne sgonish? Who can't be driven away from the ground with a lash?” ; Metu, metu ne vymetu, nesu, nesu ne vynesu, noch' prodyot sama uydyot. Sweep, sweep – cannot sweet it , bring, bring – cannot bring it , a night will come - it will go itself” ; deu. there is a popular proverb “ Where is light, there are also shadows”); A girl is like a shadow: you follow her, she goes from you; you go from her, she follows you” – in this riddle probably there is a common ”love game” where we have the roles of ”a hunter” and ”an animal”, then they switch their roles; mdf. moĺan, moĺi, lotkan, lotkai, ṕešḱä·d́an, af kor ء tai. – “You go - it goes, you stop – it stops, you ask – it doesn't answer” (P 2051); Шись мани – Сон мельган пани, Шись эженди – Сон эздон кяшенди. – “The day is clear – it chases me, The day is cloudy – it hides from me”; Тяйсеса – аф тяйсеви, Керсеса – аф керсеви, “Пинге сай – сонць юмай. – “Sweep, sweep – cannot sweep, Cut, cut – cannot cut, The time will come – it will go itself”; Монь ули ялгазе, Фалу эсон (мушенды); Кда шись кяшеви – Сон эздон кяши. – “I have a girl-friend, She always finds me; When the sun goes away – She leaves me”; Монь ули ялгазе, Мархтон якай, аф ляды, Серцек моли – аф корхтай. – “I have a girl-friend, She follows me, doesn't fall behind, Comes near – doesn't talk”; Ушу лисян – тейнза муван, Куду суван – аф муван. – “I go outside – it meets me, I come inside – it doesn't find me”; Фалу мархтон якай, Эстейнь аф кундави. – “Always comes with me, But cannot be caught”; Монь ули ялгазе, Сельмофтома-кельфтома, Якай мархтон валфтома. –”I have a friend, he has neither eyes, nor tongue; Follows me silently”; Монь ули ялгазе, Молят – моли, Лоткат – лоткай. – “I have a friend, I go – and he goes, I stop – and he stops”; Монь ули ялгазе, Мархтон якай, Модать аф топай. – “I have a friend, he comes with me, doesn't tread on the ground”.

2) it often goes before a person : rus. Ty tol'ko iz doma, a ona uzhe do rigi shagnula. You just go from your house and it stepped to the thrashing barn already” ; Skol'ko po ney ni idi, vsyo budet bezhat' vperedi. No matter how much you walk it, it will run before you” ; mdf . Ушу лисян – тейнза муван, Куду суван – аф муван. – “I go outside - it meets me, I come inside – it doesn't find me”; Шись лиси-ваны – Монга лисян-ванан; Шись кяши-машты – Монга кяшан-маштан. –“ The sun rises – watches – and I come, guard; the sun sets – and I will disappear”.

3) speechless : rus. Vek provozhayet, slova ne molvit, na chay ne prosit. It sees off an age but doesn't speak a word and doesn't ask for tea” ; mdf . moĺan, moĺi, lotkan, lotkai, ṕešḱä·d́an, af kor ء tai. – “You go – it goes, you stop – it stops, you ask – it doesn't answer”; Монь ули ялгазе, Мархтон якай, аф ляды, Серцек моли – аф корхтай. – “I have a friend, she follows me, doesn't fall behind. She comes near – doesn't talk”; Монь ули ялгазе, Сельмофтома-кельфтома, Якай мархтон валфтома. – “I have a friend, he has neither eyes, nor tongue; Follows me silently; myv. Ведьга моли – а булькаи, Чейга юты – а кашторды. – “Goes upon the water – doesn't gurgle, goes upon sedge – doesn't rustle”; Век эри – свал а корты, Мезеяк а веши. – “Lives an age – doesn't speak a word, doesn't ask for anything”; Век эри – а корты. – “Lives an age – doesn't speak”.

4) a reason for a fear, dread : rus. On teni (duhu) yego boitsya. On sam svoyey teni boitsya. He is afraid of his shadow (spirit) . He is afraid of his own shadow” . Therefore, in the Russian riddles a shadow is associated with a biomorphic mythological metaphor, besides there is something supernatural in an image of a shadow (religious element). In a Moksha riddle a shadow is timid: Шида визди, Веда пели. – “Embarrassed by the sun, Afraid of the night”; Шись мани – Сон мельган пани, Шись эженди – Сон эздон кяшенди. – “The day is clear – it chases me, The day is cloudy – it hides from me”.

In German riddles we have detected a lot of both biomorphic mythological metaphors (an evidence of independent movement of a subject / object), and anthropomorphous (“ I-subject” in some riddles). However in German and Mordovian material there are the qualities of a shadow that can't be found in Russian riddles:

1) shadow – nothing and at the same time something (non-material, seeming substance): deu . “Anything isn't something and nothing isn't something; so something is nothing and it mustn't be anything”; “Shadow from the sun or light is an appearance of a subject, but not itself”; mdf . Шись юмай – сонга юмай. – “The sun disappears – and he [friend] disappears”; Монь ули ялгазе, Мархтон якай, Модать аф топай. – “I have a friend, he comes with me, doesn't tread on the ground”; myv. Кунцян прязонзо – а макссы. – “Take its head – it doesn't yield”.

2) always is there in the sun light (comp. a proverb „Where is light, there are shadows”: A riddle sometimes has its own ”private” language and we can see it in the archaic traditions, for example, such strange words as synonyms for rain Polickerpolacker, Plickerdeplacker and so on. Not having a conceptual meaning, these words sound as kind of pseudo-names. This range may create an image of a rhythmic action. The gist of this phenomenon – «a name without naming a definite type of action or its maker and may be iconization of repeating and <…> equivocality (Senderovich, 2008). We find the same in the riddle about a shadow cited: Gickala Gackala and here is one for a rhyme – Ackala ; mdf . “The sun rises – she appears, The sun sets – she goes away”. “The sun rises – She comes out, The sun sets – she goes away”. On behalf of a shadow : Шись лиси-ваны – Монга лисян-ванан; Шись кяши-машты – Монга кяшан-маштан. – “The sun rises - watches – And I come, guard; The sun sets – and I will go away”; Шись няйсамань – Сон мусамань; Шись юмафтсамань – Сонга кадсамань. – “The sun will see me – She [girl-friend] finds me; The sun will lose me – She leaves me”; Шись юмай – сонга юмай. – “The sun disappears – and he [friend] disappears”; myv. Чись лиси – сонгак лиси, Чись ёми – сонгак ёми. – “The sun rises – and she comes out, The sun sets – and she leaves”.

3) the same is observed in the moon light : deu. „What does a dog do in the moon light?“ (Shadow) or not : “It accompanies you in the light, but not in the darkness, I think, it's afraid of you”;

4) it is not lighted up by the sun: deu . “What subject cannot be lighted up by the sun under the sky?” mdf. Шида визди, Веда пели. – “Embarrassed by the sun, Afraid of the night”.

Several factors are combined in the following German riddles: 1) „…could you guess a person who, wherever you go and wherever you stand, go with you. He may be long and thin, short and fat, before you and behind you, but he is always with you while the sun shines. Where is neither the sun, nor light, there is no this person”; 2) deu. „It is as black as a moor. You have created it yourself. It has no life, but it walks with you all the time“; 3) deu. „…who always runs behind you? This is a small black man who can neither read, nor pray“ – the black color of a shadow is emphasized – a black man (negative connotation), obligatory presence of an Observer and a source of light, changing of location, size and direction of a shadow. 4) Another complex authorial riddle about a shadow: deu. „Although my Father had given me life, I never was in the light. You cannot touch me, I have no body, but I'm not a spirit, and you cannot see me in the light“.

A shadow has male and female gender only in Mordovian riddles: mdf. Монь ули ялгазе, Фалу эсон (мушенды); Кда шись кяшеви Сон эздон кяши. – “I have a girl-friend, She always finds me; When the sun disappears – She leaves me”; Монь ули ялгазе, Мархтон якай, аф ляды, Серцек моли – аф корхтай. – “I have a girl-friend, She comes with me, doesn't fall behind, / comes near – doesn't talk”; Ушу лисян – тейнза муван, Куду суван – аф муван. – “I go outside – it meets me, Come inside – doesn't find me”; Фалу мархтон якай, Эстейнь аф кундави. – “Always comes with me, but cannot be caught”; Монь ули ялгазе, Сельмофтома-кяльфтома, Якай мархтон валфтома. – “I have a friend, he has neither eyes, nor tongue; comes with me silently”; Монь ули ялгазе, Молят – моли. Лоткат – лоткай – “I have a friend, I go – and he goes, I stop – and he stops”; Монь ули ялгазе, Мархтон якай, Модать аф корхтай. – “I have a friend, he comes with me, doesn't tread on the ground”.

5). Has human feelings: “Embarrassed by the sun, Afraid of the night”.

6). Zoomorphic feature: Куд уголга равжа ката куци, Кенже кинза аф содавихть. – “In the corner of the house there is a black cat, you can't see the traces of its claws”.

7). Connection with water and zoomorphic feature: Эрьке ведьсэ Сырнень мацей экшели, Киненьгак а кундави. – “In the lake A silver goose swims, Nobody can catch it”; Ведьга моли – а булькаи, Чейга юты – а кашторды. – Goes upon water – doesn't gurgle, goes upon sedge – doesn't rustle”;

Conclusion

Thus, concepts ‘shadow’ / ‘Schatten’ / Цильфсь / Сулеесь belong to supernatural phenomena, occupying a transitional position between light and darkness, however the "dark" prevails. A shadow is considered as a weather phenomenon, directly observed and verbally represented in all the analyzed languages. In these concepts an animism is reflected - a common “animation” and “spirituality” (biomorphic and anthropomorphous mythological metaphors). But there are almost no traces of multiple etymology in the riddles about shadow (comp. M.M. Makovsky's statements). A microcosm and its connection to the common arrangement are reflected in them. A shadow is presented as a living thing, sometimes human-like, a man's double (black in German), able to move without legs, bodyless, speechless, scary, but immortal comparing to a man. In Russian, German and Mordovian riddles there are some lacunas in relation to each other, comparing to light and darkness. In German riddles a shadow appears much more often. This attention to a shadow probably can be explained by the preference of German to semitones, to transitions between light and darkness, occultness, supernatural, mystic.

An anthropomorphic mythological metaphor is not reflected in Russian riddles. Also in Russian riddles there are lacunary conceptual features “shadow - nothing and at the same time something”, “is presented in the sun light, sometimes in the moon light”, “isn't lighted up by the sun”, “black” color; at the same time in German riddles there are no CFs “impossible to get rid of a shadow”, “speechless”, “immortality”, “outpaces a person”.

Having analyzed the body of folk riddles, which in the ancient times were a secret speech for people and fulfilled an euphemistic function of covering true names of forbidden subjects and phenomena, we undertook a try to find a way into the inner code nature of riddles, to reveal a concept "shadow" from the different sides and correlate them with the most ancient archetypical ideas of the three ethnic groups. The mechanism of coding in folk riddles is considered as a universal cognitive process. Everything, existing in the world and lighted by the rays of the sun, casts shadows, and German and Russian riddles witness it. In the structure of the Solar system only the Sun cannot have a shadow, however, according to German and Russian riddles, God does not also cast a shadow, although each object and idea has its reverse side, because negative features, vices and drawbacks ontologically inherent to human nature due to reflecting universal world order.

By folk concepts of Mordovians, shadow / сулей / цильф can have a definite type of appearance with features of an anthropomorphous creature (in the lake a silver goose swims, in the corner of the house there is a black cat, with a head, embarrassed, doesn't ask, afraid of, hides, meets, chases, guards, lives an age), but at the same time it is correlated with a silent noiseless image (has neither eyes, nor tongue, doesn't gurgle, doesn't rustle). The coding of information happens through zoological vocabulary, but also through an actional code of culture, because a shadow moves in a space without any sounds. It's important to emphasize that in Mordovian riddles a shadow has feelings. We can easily explain the creation of an external image of a shadow as a black cat, because in the dark of the night sparkling eyes hide a secret, dark sides of universe. In Erzya riddles the creation of an external image of a shadow as a swan connected to a water, because you can see identical features in water like in a mirror. A wide-known layer of riddles in Russian and Mordovian languages states the localization of a shadow and changing of its contours depending on time, it has an ability to stay bodiless, incorporeal creature. In Russian and Mordovian linguistic cultures intangibility and invulnerability of a shadow, impossibility to get rid of it, its presence in the rays of the sun are emphasized. It should be noted that a shadow in Russian and Mordovian riddles always accompanies a person, shows up as a companion, and therefore in many cultures a shadow causes a reverent fear, contribute to creating of rituals, brings new meanings in culture. We should not forget about Mordovian riddles-questions: Мези эстэт а паниве? – What can't you chase off yourself? [Shakhmatov, 1910, p. 403]. Basing on these witnesses, we can conclude that, according to its nature, a folk riddle is, on the one hand, a way of ”archiving” of the cultural constants, but, from the other hand, it is an instrument of generating new meanings in culture.

References

Copyright information

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

About this article

Cite this paper as:

Click here to view the available options for cite this article.

Publisher

European Publisher

First Online

03.08.2020

Doi

10.15405/epsbs.2020.08.177

Online ISSN

2357-1330