Definition of folktales

Folktales Definition

Orylines, which are told orally, or were so told in previous generations. It thus covers fairytales, legends of all types, memorates, fables, tall tales, and humorous anecdotes. The original author is always unknown; in the rare cases where an individual who shaped the current version has been identified, the tellers are unaware of this (e.g. The Three Bears). Most tales seem to have been formed by recombining traditional elements (‘motifs’) and/ or transferring an established plot (‘tale-type’) from one hero, or one location, to another.
The narrow definition restricts itself to the avowedly fictional narratives in the above list, excluding legends and memorates, since these claim to be true. From an Chinese point of view, this is regrettable, since legends make up a very high proportion of our corpus of traditional narratives and still circulate vigorously, while memorates are a major source for the study of current beliefs.

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