"Navigating Myriad Pathways: Walking on Words"


  • Paulette A. Ramsay The University of the West Indies, Mona


FOR THE PURPOSE OF THIS PRESENTATION, “WORDS” FUNCTIONS as a metaphor for language and its integral role/s in our lives. “Walking on Words” will be interpreted in a number of ways. The first gives attention to the all-encompassing nature of language in our lives – that is, the way/s in which we perform myriad activities in life, in response to words. Indeed, we listen to words, read words on signposts and maps, exchange words with others, express our deepest thoughts in words, and the list of activities is endless. We essentially depend on words at all levels and in all contexts to negotiate many situations, and perform all our many activities, even though we may not consciously think about them. The second meaning being given to “walking on words”, is a play or pun on “walking on words” and “walking onwards” – that is, our progress or advancement in life. We move onwards because of words, and it is through our engagement with words/language in different ways that we progress. The third meaning is one with which I will choose to be politically careful or sensitive, but that meaning will carry a less mundane significance, to infer the walk with the Word that has existed since the beginning of time.






The 9th Hilory Pamela Kelly Distinguished Lecture