Active–Passive Bilingualism and the Functional Distance Between L1 and L2 as Viewed Within One Unifying Theoretical Framework

Part of the The Bilingual Mind and Brain Book Series book series (BMBBS)


This chapter will look at the way in which a particular theoretical perspective—The Modular Online Growth and Use of Language framework (MOGUL) – sheds light on two quite different phenomena, both of them important for researchers into bilingual and multilingual ability. They are (1) active–passive bilingualism and (2) the functional distance between L1 and L2. By integrating representational accounts of cognition with accounts of online processing, this framework provides a unifying perspective that highlights important relationships between seemingly disparate factors that impact upon a bilingual’s performance and developmental history. It will be shown that the two phenomena under discussion, when set in a context that includes the mind as a whole can be most satisfactorily explained as examples of the operation of general principles of cognition as well as of principles that are specifically linguistic.


Modular online growth and use of language Receptive bilingualism Active-passive bilingualism Vertical metaphor Heritage language 



My sincere thanks are due to the editors, reviewers and to John Truscott for their comments on earlier drafts.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The University of EdinburghEdinburghUK
  2. 2.Heriot-Watt UniversityEdinburghUK

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