Key words: the folklore discourse, traditional and modern culture, the riddle, the genre.
The article deals with the specifics of the realization of texts of a riddle as a genre of the folklore discourse in traditional and modern culture. This genre is described in the context of socio-cultural, communicative, cognitive and linguistic factors. According to the varied use conditions of this genre, we can point out modifications in the sphere of functioning of a riddle and the specifics of its images and their linguistic representation. The ability of a riddle to respond to the socio-cultural changes allows it to stay in an actual sphere of collective consciousness at any historical period.