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Valentyn Stetsyuk (Lviv, Ukraine)

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Analysis of materials by Nomys and Dahl

Trying to structure the collected material, the collected material, both Dahl and Nomis divided the collected folklore units into thematic sections, which are partially similar in both collections, but mostly formed intuitively, so the structure of the collections is different. To compare the material, it was necessary to bring it to one system, although this is very difficult in the conditions of a pilot, previous study. Since in our time attempts are being made to divide public consciousness into components, it was found possible to combine the classification of Dahl and Nomis within a certain system that will be common to both collections at the top, and at the bottom, it will remain the same as it was created by both authors, where one section can correspond to one specific trait of the national character:

We single out three types of elementary components in the public consciousness:

I – emotional component,

II – rational component,

II – irrational component.

The first type includes sensual images, emotional reactions, affects, desires, experiences, etc. Within the framework of the second type, logical representations, judgments, norms, normative thoughts, and prescriptions can be distinguished. The third type includes beliefs, fantastic images, utopian ideas, and irrational prescriptions. This technique was used to study mass consciousness [GRUSHIN B.A. 1987: 109-112], but it is closely related to the national character, so it can be used in our case as well.

The further fundamental division of units of the lower level takes into account the nature of the relationship of consciousness with reality in order to determine three abstract types in the composition of consciousness:

a) elements of consciousness reflecting reality,

b) elements of consciousness that express attitudes toward reality,

c) elements of consciousness as a reaction to reality.

The type A is called reflective, type B is called evaluative, and type B – is reactive.

By combining both methods of dismemberment, you can get 3x3, i.e. 9 two-dimensional classes of components of public consciousness (national character):


Accordingly, in class IA there will be sensual images, in the class IB – experiences and tastes, in the class IC – affects, desires and volitional impulses, in the class IIA – the concept and positive judgments, in the class IIB – thoughts, reasoning, in the class IIC – normative prescriptions, etc., in the class IIIA – irrational images, in the class IIIB – irrational representations, in the class IIIC – beliefs, religion, irrational prescriptions. Further division of folklore units will be carried out within the framework of these nine classes using sections of the collections of Dahl and Nomis. It should be noted that attributing somehow a separate section to a specific class can cause rather great difficulties, and it is almost impossible to perfectly divide all the material into all classes, since in practice it can be very difficult to determine the subject of a separate section, for example, rational or irrational prescription, or volitional impulse, or to separate irrational images from sensual ones. But the analysis of individual character traits, regardless of which class a particular section fell into, will be carried out in comparison with an analog of another sample, so possible errors in the arrangement of the material will not greatly affect the final result. The cautious conclusions that can be drawn from the proposed study on such a delicate topic as national character will correspond to the state of affairs in the middle of the 19th century, and although the category of national character is quite strong, certain changes in it over a century and a half have undoubtedly taken place. In order to somewhat enliven the presentation of the research process and more accurately reflect the themes of individual sections, examples are given along with the calculation, which were selected in such a way that one could feel the difference in the nuances of certain character traits of Ukrainians and Russians, that is, examples from one folklore in most of them have no analogs in another.

The author is aware that the frequency of use and distribution of a particular folklore unit is also of great importance, and the fact that the frequency was not taken into account due to the lack of relevant data, of course, reduces the cost of the results obtained. So, for various reasons, the conclusions that will be made on the basis of the analysis should be treated critically. It should also be kept in mind. that in one section both Dahl and Nomis happen to combine opposite themes in one folklore unit or within the framework of the section, such as for example, "wealth – squalor", "joy – sorrow", "scary – not scary", but the assessment of the subject is given from a positive point of view, that is, it is always implied that when people, speaking of poverty, dream of prosperity, that crime, moral shortcomings are condemned, that positive emotions are desired, etc.

And now we turn to a specific consideration of the national character traits of Ukrainians and Russians, reflected in the themes of proverbs and sayings, classified according to the method described above.