Vygotsky cites an incident observed by Dostoevsky in which a complex sense was carried by a single word – or rather the sign was interpreted so that only one word was needed as its verbal component. ‘When the context is as clear as in this example, it really becomes possible to convey all thoughts, feelings and even a whole chain of reasoning in a single word’ (Vygotsky 1934, 144).

A turning word is like the proverbial tip of the iceberg, or rather like the still point of a turning sign, ‘at the still point of the turning world’ which is its context.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.