There is neither a first nor a last word and there are no limits to the dialogic context (it extends into the boundless past and the boundless future). Even past meanings, that is, those born in the dialogue of the past centuries, can never be stable (finalized, ended once and for all) they will always change (be renewed) in the process of subsequent, future development of the dialogue. At any moment in the development of the dialogue there are immense, boundless masses of forgotten contextual meanings, but at certain moments of the dialogue’s subsequent development along the way they are recalled and invigorated in renewed form (in a next context). Nothing is absolutely dead: every meaning will have its homecoming festival.
Mikhail Bakhtin, from his late notes “Toward a Methodology of the Human Sciences.” Words that changed my professional life, and to some extent the rest of my life as well. Subject for a later, longer post, perhaps… .