I love folklore and the other day I was searching for versions of the Fish Bride. When you do something like this, I hope you pay attention to the URL of whatever information you just found. Sometimes it can lead you to a gold mine.
One version of the Fish Bride was archived at ttu.edu. Texas Tech University? What’ s up with that?
Deleting bits of the URL to get at the main archive, I found the Archive of Turkish Oral Narrative which contains both folk tales and music.
For me, the best part is that these scans of the typed tales include handwritten notes and footnotes. In the Fish Bride, the fisherman hides to see who has been preparing fancy meals for him. When the young woman appears, he asks if she is a supernatural being, a djinn. The footnote tells us that this is the “stock question” when someone appears unexpectedly.
How cool is that? What does it tell you that this society has a stock question for such situations?