The Other in The Self: The Ontological Metaphoricity of Language




Through text and illustrations, I (first author) theorize language as a being that becomes and revels in its plurality, illuminating the inherent and necessary aesthetic and multimodal dimensions of any struggle toward meaning. To do so, I start by foregrounding my own experiences with the diversity that characterizes language to portray the significance of studying its ontology and plurality. I then identify philosophical hermeneutics as a practical metatheory that centrally positions language as a medium for understanding. From a hermeneutic perspective, language manifests as a network of meaning that is constituted through an ontological metaphoricity that echoes a capacity to both present and represent phenomena. This metaphoricity of language is then discussed in terms of its linguistically, speculative, and dialogic dimensions. I pose that language discloses an otherness in ourselves that is fostered in a capacity for renewed understandings and meanings that are yet becoming.


Author Biographies

Dr. Cristina Valencia Mazzanti, Department of Education and Child Study, Smith College

Dr. Cristina Valencia Mazzanti is Assistant Professor in the Department of Education and Child Study at Smith College. She studies the social construction of languages as a multifaceted phenomenon that shapes children's experiences of learning as well as the work of educators and researchers. Currently, she is researching young children's experiences with multilingualism, multimodality, and learning through a series of interdisciplinary longitudinal studies involving kindergarten students, elementary school teachers, and Latine families. Cristina teaches classes in the areas of early childhood and elementary education as well as educational research.

Dr. Melissa Freeman, Qualitative Research Program, University of Georgia

Dr. Melissa Freeman is Professor of Qualitative Research and Evaluation Methodologies at the University of Georgia, USA. Her research is cross-disciplinary and focuses on the ways theories of interpretation and meaning-constitution have been conceptualized by philosophers and taken up in qualitative research design. She has published articles in Qualitative Inquiry, Qualitative Research, The Journal of Applied Hermeneutics, International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, The Journal of Childhood Studies, and is the author of Modes of Thinking for Qualitative Data Analysis (Routledge, 2017) and Researching children’s experiences (with Sandra Mathison, Guilford Press, 2008).