Development and topicality

Hans-Heinrich Lieb

Integrational Linguistics: Development and topicality

(1964 to 2018)

© 2018 Hans-Heinrich Lieb

1.  First Stage (1964 to 1970)

Origins and early work

1.1  Topics

Integrational Linguistics (IL) is an approach to linguistics that has arisen from work done by Hans-Heinrich Lieb, starting in 1964. "Integrational Linguistics" as a name for the approach has been used in publications since 1977 (Lieb 1977e), which appears to antedate use of the same term for an unrelated approach going back to Roy Harris.

From its inception, Integrational Linguistics has been non-generative, hence, was outside the linguistic mainstream for decades.

The present outline of the development of Integrational Linguistics does not attempt to provide an overview of all work, or even all major work, done within its framework or under its influence; nor does it try and do justice to the complete work of individual authors. In particular, to keep the outline sufficiently short, the branch of IL represented by Peter Eisenberg and his students will not be considered in any detail, despite its importance especially for the study of phonology, morphology and written language. There will be an emphasis on Lieb’s work simply because he is the originator of the approach.  

After a Ph.D. thesis on the history of the concept of metaphor (Lieb 1964), not yet part of the Integrational enterprise, Lieb's early work on this approach, culminating in Lieb (1970c), was devoted to developing part of a theory of language: a part emphasizing language-internal variability, especially variability in time. In Lieb (1970c), synchrony-diachrony conceptions are explicated, embedding the theory of language and its parts in a theory of communication and using the axiomatic method to achieve maximal precision for the conceptual analysis. The theories of language and of communication are conceived as empirical, and the theory of communication, though incomplete, has application well beyond linguistics (partly due to Lieb’s life-long interest in a theory of literature, originating from his original training in philosophy and as a philologist in both language and literature).

Dimensions of language variability other than the temporal one were systematically considered only later, in Lieb (1993g), which in a sense completes the earlier work.

Dealing with language variability; doing so in a communication framework; using the axiomatic method; and insisting on the empirical nature of linguistics: all this was sufficient to place Lieb’s work outside the linguistic mainstream of the time, where, among other things, language variability was programmatically disregarded.

This was unacceptable to Lieb if only for his training as a philologist and subsequently as a structuralist linguist, doing his post-doctoral work with Hansjakob Seiler, where he started by concentrating on general questions of the status of linguistics, with a critical evaluation of Chomsky’s early work (Lieb 1968a, also Lieb 1967b, 1970b), in addition to developing his own framework for dealing with language variability.  

1.2  Topicality

The work done during the First Stage has been important to this day for developing Integrational Linguistics. Its current importance is more general, though, in at least the following respects.

i. Lieb (1970c), presenting a partial outline of a theory of language within a communication framework, is an early exemplification of a realist approach to linguistics: is a specific version of linguistic realism as currently also represented in the volume of essays edited by Behme and Neef (2018). Specifically, Lieb (1970c: Chs. 10 and 11) contains detailed arguments for a comprehensive, communication-based conception of languages that still does justice to their physiological and neurological aspects without identifying the objects of linguistics with relevant brain mechanisms – arguments that are even more important given recent progress in the identification of such mechanisms.
ii. The early attempt made in Lieb (1967b) to reconcile parts of transformational grammars with a realist interpretation is – despite its briefness – currently receiving special attention (more so than when it was written), judging by frequent requests for this article through Research Gate; in a different area, the conceptions of ‘weighted constraints’ to be found in declarative grammars such as HPSG grammars is akin to proposals made in Lieb (1970b) for dealing with linguistic deviation, and may still be useful for such conceptions.
iii. Lieb (1970c) is by far the largest work in linguistics yet (with computational linguistics a possible exception) to use the axiomatic method, including non-trivial proofs: using the method to partially clarify the conceptual core of a theory of language; alternative solutions to problems are explicitly discussed and evaluated.  (There are roughly ten thousand hours of work over a period of five years behind this book. Proofs could now be checked using proof-checking computer programs that were not available at the time.)
iv. The key concept of communication complex, defined in the theory presented in Lieb (1970c), covers historical languages and their varieties – basically, any set consisting of ‘means of communication’ such as idiolects – and allows us to characterize groups of languages or varieties either as communication complexes or as sets of such complexes. “Linguistic communication complex” may therefore take the place of the recent term “languoid” without sharing its vagueness.
v. The theory developed in Lieb (1970c) is radically speaker- and usage-oriented, relating linguistic change to changes taking place at the level of individual speakers and their linguistic activities and covering – in theory – all relevant speakers and activities. Direct application of the theory thus depends on vast amounts of data being available, a requirement that was hard to meet at the time of the theory’s development. The situation has now changed dramatically; there is an almost limitless supply of linguistic data directly or indirectly provided through the internet or available in linguistic corpora. The theory may therefore be usefully applied in current linguistic research – and even outside linguistics – in a way that would not have been possible at the time of its development.

However, a significant gap remained in Lieb (1970c). The theoretical framework did not yet deal with variability from the point of view of individual components in a language system; consideration of systems was deliberately left for later treatment, and was taken up during the Second Stage of the development of Integrational Linguistics.

2.  Second Stage (1971 to 1983)

Theory of axiomatic grammars, theory of linguistic systems, work on German

2.1  Organization and topics

After becoming, in 1971, a full professor of General and German Linguistics at the Freie Universität Berlin in (West) Berlin, Lieb started closing the gaps left in his previous work.

The status of research on language universals, closely connected with developing a theory of language, was studied further from the point of view of the philosophy of science (Lieb 1975c, 1978c).

As a major step in accounting for the system aspect of languages, Lieb developed a theory of axiomatic grammars by which grammars were to be based on a theory of language; this was published in two book-length articles (Lieb 1974a and Lieb 1976c). The theory was in direct contrast to the conceptions proposed in Generative grammar, the approach that was fast becoming the mainstream in most linguistic areas. Again in contrast to the generative mainstream, Lieb developed a conception for the place of linguistics in a net of interrelated disciplines where linguistics was not reduced to either psychology or biology but was taken to have semiotics, properly understood, as its only ultimate parent. 

Work on the theory of grammars soon suggested that the system part of the presupposed theory of language was best developed independently of a theory of grammars, rather than subservient to such a theory.

In particular, a general morphosyntax had to be made available as part of a theory of linguistic systems that was based on a theory of language variability.

For this purpose, Lieb organized a research group at his university soon after joining it, a group consisting of colleagues, assistants, and advanced students, to study German morphosyntax for its language-specific and its general properties; the group was active until 1982 (for a few authors, see Sec. 2.2, below).

Simultaneously with the work of the group and his own work on morphosyntax, Lieb began developing a conceptual framework for lexical and sentence semantics, a framework combining the three traditions in semantics of realism, conceptualism, and meaning-as-use including speech-act theory. Realism and conceptualism were taken to be basic in lexical semantics, and meaning-as-use in sentence semantics. Semantic description was to satisfy the requirements for formal theories.

This approach to semantics turned out to be at odds with the major developments in the field. On the one hand, formal work in semantics – following Montague for a while – was entirely realist, excluding the conceptualist tradition and trying to reconstruct traditional ‘pragmatic’ features such as speaker reference in realist terms. On the other hand, criticism of this development turned out to be typically anti-formalist.

Another major topic of research in Lieb’s work during the Second Stage consisted in developing a conception of sentence accentuation, from both a formal and a semantic-pragmatic point of view, through studying German sentence intonation for initial orientation (in a large-scale study that has remained unfinished but may still be published). The conception, germane in some respects to the well-known work done at the time by Pierrehumbert, was then integrated into Lieb (1983a), (1983b).

2.2  Topicality

Work during the Second Stage resulted in a large number of publications by various authors (see the Bibliography that is part of the present Homepage). Most significant proved Lieb (1983b) and Eisenberg (1986). (Also compare Lutzeier 1981, the starting-point for this author’s subsequent work on lexicology, eventually leaving the Integrational framework.)

Lieb (1983b), a 500-page monograph, outlines the conceptual core of a theory of linguistic systems covering morphology and syntax (combining Item and Arrangement with Word and Paradigm), lexical semantics, and sentence semantics. The theory also accounts for major areas of pragmatics in a traditional sense by (i) using a ‘pragmatic’ conception of sentence meaning, (ii) relating linguistic systems directly to speakers and their utterances, and (iii) dealing with internal and external language variability by taking idiolects and their systems as basic. There are only two traditional areas of linguistics that are left largely uncharted (though included in principle), segmental phonology and word-formation. In addition, the conception of axiomatic grammars is developed further in Lieb’s book and presented in a more accessible form than in Lieb (1974a) and (1976c).

The book has proved foundational for most research subsequently done in an Integrational framework. Despite further developments, it has been superseded only in certain parts.

Eisenberg’s Grundriß der deutschen Grammatik, one-volume in 1986 but later published in a two-volume edition repeatedly revised and much enlarged (Der Satz and Das Wort; 4th edition in 2013), developed into one of the most successful and widely used grammars of Modern German. Eisenberg, who was a member of the research group created by Lieb, started out using the framework worked out during the Second Stage, subsequently modifying it in various respects. Later work by Eisenberg and his own students has continued to be mostly Integrational, though developing farther away from Lieb’s version.

3.  Third Stage (1984 to 1991)

Continuation. ‘New Structuralism’

3.1  Organization and topics

Work done during the Third Stage – some of it published only in 1992 and 1993 – was more diverse than work during the first two Stages, but several key topics stand out.

Lieb concentrated on placing Integrational Linguistics in the field of linguistics as a whole, taking a definite stand against the generative mainstream of the time by means of an extensive analysis that questioned its very foundations and argued for a ‘New Structuralism’ (“new” meaning “strongly revised”) as an alternative (Lieb 1987, in German). A number of outstanding linguists were interested in this and eventually contributed to a volume in English devoted to the alternative (Lieb 1992g), with an article (Lieb 1992f) based on Lieb (1987).

A second major topic of Lieb’s work consisted in organizing and contributing to a small research group – including, among others, Helmut Richter as a phonologist – that conducted empirical research on sentence intonation using Lieb’s theoretical conceptions as background and employing the early computer means of the time (results of the group’s work are represented in Lieb 1988c).

A third major topic of Lieb’s work consisted in extending the Theory of Linguistic Systems with respect to its morphosyntactic part: Lieb (1992d) is the first – and independent – formalization of the Word and Paradigm model after Matthews; and Lieb (1993a) summarizes and partly formalizes the conception of Integrational syntax as it had developed until then.

Significant work was done during this Stage also in semantics. There is a summary of the semantic part of the Integrational Theory of Linguistic Systems in Lieb (1992c), and two major topics received book-size treatments: indexicality (Richter 1988) and noun-group meaning and event semantics (Moltmann 1992).

For other work during the Third Stage, the Bibliography of this Homepage may be compared (for Eisenberg 1986, see Sec. 2.2, above).

3.2  Topicality 

In hindsight, ‘New Structuralism’ can be recognized as one of at least four developments in linguistics that were setting out at the time to challenge the generative mainstream with its rivers and rivulets; the other three being ‘Linguistic realism’ as originally proposed by Katz, Construction Grammar as initiated by Fillmore (another resumption of linguistic structuralism), and, in computational linguistics and beyond, the rise of constraint-based frameworks. The last two developments have proved more successful by far than ‘New Structuralism’ and ‘Linguistic Realism’ for a number of reasons not to be discussed here. However, ‘New Structuralism’, blended with a modification of ‘Linguistic Realism’ into ‘Modified Realism’, appears to combine the advantages of Construction Grammar approaches and constraint-based grammars without their disadvantages, as argued in Lieb (2018); this makes Modified Realism topical for present-day linguistics.

The results of the intonation research remain to be re-evaluated. The underlying approach differs from physically-based approaches by (i) giving priority to auditory properties of the speech signal, (ii) characterizing them in articulatory terms, and (iii) correlating them with physical properties; in contrast to Autosegmental Phonology, pitch contours are treated as syllable-based. Methods for phonetic microanalysis were developed using this framework.

With respect to syntax, the work on morphosyntax has remained foundational for Integrational Linguistics; only very recently are modifications beginning to be considered. Major changes have been introduced though in Lieb’s and Nolda’s more recent work with respect to morphology and word formation (see below, Sec. 5.1.3, Ad (iii)). The classical Integrational Word and Paradigm model is partially affected, though; this model has now been joined – but not superseded – by two other well-known Word and Paradigm models, developed by Stump and Blevins, respectively. 

The semantic theory in Lieb (1983b), extended by the semantic work done during the Third Stage, has grown in relevance for the following reasons: the ‘realist’ mainstream in formal semantics is beginning to weaken, leaving space for formal theories of a more comprehensive type; the conceptualist tradition in semantics is making a come-back due to results obtained by applying brain-imaging technology; a different strain of the meaning-as-use tradition is receiving increasing attention as ‘distributional semantics’; and utterance meanings, in addition to sentence meanings, are back in focus in ‘usage-based linguistics’. What is missing, is an integrative approach, for which Integrational semantics qualifies.

4.  Fourth Stage (1992 to 2003)

The Theory of Linguistic Systems. Developing the Integrational approach

4.1  Organization and topics

4.1.1  The Berlin Research Colloquium on Integrational Linguistics

The most important organizational step leading to this Stage was taken by Lieb in late 1991: once again, Lieb created a research group, calling it Berliner Forschungskolloquium Integrative Sprachwissenschaft (“Berlin Research Colloquium on Integrational Linguistics”). The group met once a week during term and was active for eleven years, from the winter semester of 1991/92 to the summer semester of 2003, when Lieb retired, becoming an emeritus. Lieb did most of his scientific work during this period as part of the Colloquium, renouncing all publication in journals by a deliberate decision.

The aim of the research group consisted in further developing the Integrational Theory of Linguistic Systems as part of a general theory of language, concentrating on syntax and semantics; eventually, linguistic methodology was also considered. There were to be written proceedings for each meeting, with eventual publication in mind.

The Proceedings have been recently published online, in twenty-two parts and amounting to close to two-thousand pages (Lieb ed. 2017), in German but with detailed editorial text in English that also contains summaries. The topics that were treated, each during  one or several semesters, appear from the following list of links:

I. Linguistic research in progress (Part I) – Acknowledgements. Editor’s introduction
II. Noun Group problems I – Probleme der Nominalgruppe I
III. Noun Group Problems II – Probleme der Nominalgruppe II
IV. Noun Group Problems III – Probleme der Nominalgruppe III
V. The semantics of German nominal expressions – Semantik der deutschen Nominale
VI. Relative clauses I – Relativsätze I
VII. Relative clauses II – Relativsätze II
VIII. Valence and Government I – Valenz und Rektion I
IX. Valence and Government II – Valenz und Rektion II
X. Agreement I – Kongruenz I
XI. Agreement II / Ellipsis I – Kongruenz II / Ellipse I
XII. Ellipsis in coordination (Ellipsis II) – Ellipse bei Koordination (Ellipse II)
XIII. Speech acts: the Integrational account I – Der Sprechaktaspekt der Integrativen Sprachtheorie I
XIV. Speech acts, integrational II: sentence types and sentences – Der Sprechaktaspekt II: Satzarten und Sätze
XV. Speech acts, integrational III – sentence types, directive part, and speech act types. Der Sprechaktaspekt III – Satzarten, Bedeutungsrichtung und Sprechakttypen
XVI. Integrational Morphology – basic problems I. Grundprobleme der Integrativen Morphologie I
XVII. Integrational Morphology – basic problems II. Grundprobleme der Integrativen Morphologie II

XVIII. Integrational Morphology – basic problems III. Grundprobleme der Integrativen Morphologie III
XIX. Syntactic methodology – an Integrational account I. Integrative Methodologie mit besonderem Bezug auf die Syntax I
XX. Syntactic methodology – an Integrational account II. Integrative Methodologie mit besonderem Bezug auf die Syntax II

XXI. Linguistic research in progress (Part XXI) – Tables of Contents and Subjects. Inhalts- und Themenverzeichnisse
XXII. Linguistic research in progress (Part XXII) – Comprehensive Index of Terms. Stichwort-Gesamtverzeichnis

4.1.2  Other contributions (1): Completing the approach

In addition to the work done in the Colloquium, the approach was developed further by individual contributions from several authors, in particular:

  1. Falkenberg (1996a) resumes, with some deviations, the Theory of Grammars.
  1. Lieb (1993g) completes the Theory of Language Variability (see Section 1, above).
  1. Lieb (1998b) fills a gap that had remained in the Theory of Linguistic Systems by developing a phonological part, using German as a point of departure, and Lieb (1999) develops a precise treatment of word accent, using a classical pitch accent approach.
  1. Budde (2000a) carefully works out a generally theory of word classes, specifically of parts of speech, as part of the Integrational Theory of Language.
  1. Lieb contributed various foundational articles on the topics of valency and of coordination (see the Bibliography of this Homepage).

4.1.3  Other contributions (2): Applying and extending the approach

Only major work is mentioned, some of it published later than in 2003:

  1. Eisenberg (1998/1999) is the first two-volume edition, completely revised, of Grundrißder deutschen Grammatik, with partial deviation from Lieb’s version of Integrational Linguistics. (See above, Section 2.2.)
  1. Eschenlohr (1999) and Schwaika (2002) apply an Integrational approach to German word formation and to lexical fields in German, respectively.
  1. Sackmann (2000) and (2004) study the morphosyntax and semantics of the Noun Group in Mandarin Chinese, extending a Word and Paradigm approach to this language.
  1. Drude (2004) applies the approach to Guaraní, extending it to lexicography and concentrating on the interpretation of lexicographic terminology.
  1. Peters (1997) applies and expands the psychological framework worked out by Lieb – for semantics in particular – in a vast data-based study of sound production at the prelinguistic and early linguistic stages of language acquisition.

4.1.4  Related research (1): Language documentation

From 2001 to 2005, a research group with Lieb as the director and Drude as the principal investigator was supported by the Volkswagen Foundation within its DoBeS program (a large-scale program for the documentation of endangered languages, operative until recently); the aim was the documentation of Awetí, an indigenous language of South America of the Tupí family: Drude et al. (2006). Documentation was preliminary to an Integrational analysis whose beginnings are represented by a number of articles written by Drude, see the Bibliography of this Homepage.) In this context, Lieb and Drude extended the Integrational approach to language documentation by their proposal for ‘Advanced Glossing’: Lieb/Drude (2000).

4.1.5  Related research (2): Annotation systems for treebank projects

The German inter-university project TIGER, a vast treebank project devoted to the semi-automatic morphosyntactic annotation of a large amount of German newspaper texts, was started in 1999; it is still operative. Its annotation system, first worked out for syntactic annotation in 2003, was created by a group of scholars that included Peter Eisenberg and was heavily influenced by Eisenberg (1998/1999); compare the link to “annotation page” in TIGER Corpus [2018].

4.2  Topicality

The Proceedings of the Berlin Research Colloquium on Integrational Linguistics document work devoted to analysing fundamental conceptual problems that are raised by a theory of linguistic systems as part of a general theory of language, part of a theory that may be presupposed by the grammars of arbitrary languages. The Proceedings are unique both for the number of topics treated and for documenting not only results but also how they are reached. It is pointed out in the editorial text for the various Parts of the Proceedings how each Part is topical for linguistic research. Only partly have the Proceedings been exploited in Integrational Linguistics itself, and they are waiting to be used in linguistics generally.

The research listed in Sections 4.1.2 to 4.1.4 has all been influential in the further development of Integrational Linguistics (Peters’s work indirectly so by supporting the Integrational speech act conception). Including the TIGER project in Sec. 4.1.5, special relevance can be claimed at least for:

i. Lieb (1993g), presenting a framework for language variability that is classificatory but comprehensive, may be used in conjunction with frameworks that are statistically based but less comprehensive.
ii. Budde (2000a) continues to be the most comprehensive and explicit general theory of parts of speech to date, more advanced than any competitor. (Its publication in German and on microfiche has been a hindrance to its reception.)
iii. Eisenberg (1998/1999), in further, revised editions, continues to be a cornerstone in the field of grammars of Modern German.
iv. Sackmann (2000) and (2004) is highly original in relation to Chinese, proving the traditional wisdom wrong that languages like Chinese are not accessible to a WP approach.
v. Drude (2004) applies to lexicography a Word and Paradigm conception for both morphology and the lexicon, systematically interpreting the lexicographic terminology, and exemplifies its approach by developing a non-trivial part of a lexicon of Guaraní, a language of a type whose lexicological problems are rarely considered.
vi. Lieb and Drude (2000), too demanding for language documentation at the time, should be reconsidered now for today’s more complex annotation aims, and may be directly helpful in annotation work as currently done by authors such as Volker Gast.
vii. The practical importance and theoretical soundness of Integrational Syntax is also demonstrated by the usefulness of Eisenberg’s version for creating the TIGER treebank.

5.  Fifth Stage (2004 to 2013)


Word-formation theory

5.1  Organization and topics

5.1.1  General

At various times during this period, previous members of the Berlin Colloquium on Integrational Linguistics kept meeting, but irregularly and without creating written documentation. 

Lieb continued to represent an organizational focus by being available for intensive discussions on questions arising for a number of co-workers from their Ph.D. work. Generally, contributions during this Stage consisted in work done by individuals still forming a loosely connected group. – There were four classes of topics:

i. The Word and Paradigm part of the syntactic theory was put in a historical context, summarized and modified.
ii. The emphasis during this Stage was on empirical, book-size applications of the Integrational framework to diverse languages from different language families, including language documentation work.
iii. With respect to theory, there was intensive work on an alternative to the previous Integrational treatment of word formation, which, when discussed in the Berlin Colloquium during the Fourth Stage, had been shown to be insufficient and possibly misconceived.   
iv. Partly due to the results of (ii) and (iii), modifications were introduced into the morphosyntactic framework or foreseen for it, including further modifications of the Word and Paradigm model beyond (i).

5.1.2  Details

Ad (i)

This was achieved in Lieb (2005), an essay that was seminal also for later Integrational work, such as the one listed below under Ad (ii) and Ad (iii). Lieb (2005) is suitable for confronting the classical IL conception of paradigms – allowing for deviations in the Eisenberg branch of IL – with the Word and Paradigm models of Matthews, Stump, and Blevins.

Ad (ii)

The following research was carried through, concluded and published as books or in book-size form:

Drude et al. (2006), documentation of Awetí (see Sec. 4.1.4, above)

Nolda (2007a), on German (syntactic-semantic interface, sentence semantics)

Lieb (2008), on German and French (contrastive phonology)

Friedrich (2009), on Russian (sentence semantics)

Hla Myat Thway (2010), documentation of Yinchia (phonology, morphology, some syntax)

Su (2011), on Mandarin Chinese (phonology, syntax, semantics)

Viguier (2013), on French (syntactic-semantic interface, sentence semantics)

Eisenberg (2013), a grammar of Modern German (4th ed.)

Furthermore, there was a Ph.D. dissertation, unpublished, concerning the syntactic-semantic interface in Burmese.

In addition, there have been two important collections:

Sackmann (2008b) (containing, among others, Lieb 2008)

Nolda and Teuber (2011) (containing Integrational work, and papers with a comparable orientation)

For Sackmann (2004), on Chinese, Drude (2004), on Guaraní, and Eisenberg (2013), see Sec. 4.1, above.

For work of a lesser size, see the Bibliography of this Homepage.

Ad (iii)

In 2002, work done in the Berlin Colloquium on Integrational Linguistics (documented in Parts XVI to XVIII of Lieb ed. 2017, see above, Sec. 4.1.1) led to a change in the Integrational conception of word formation: from an Item and Arrangement conception to a (non-generative) Item and Process approach. The change was used as a new starting-point by Lieb and subsequently by Nolda, each eventually developing his own theory of word formation on an Item and Process basis, calling them “The Process Model of Word Formation” and “The Pattern-and Restriction Theory”, respectively. The two theories – first presented in the following studies but under development beyond the Fifth Stage – are closely related:   

Nolda (2012/2013), a habilitation thesis outlining a general Item-and-Process theory of word formation, using conversion in German as a starting-point and for exemplification.

Lieb (2013), outlining a general Item-and-Process theory of word formation based on a formal conception of processes that also include inflection processes, using English word-formation for exemplification (Lieb’s and Nolda’s theories are compared in detail in Lieb 2013: Sec. 8).

Nolda has also developed a computer program implementing his theory:

PPR: System for Processing Formation Patterns and Restrictions

Ad (iv)

Most important are the modifications concerning syntactic functions and their types that are introduced or considered in Lieb (2011a), and the modifications, already considered at the Fifth Stage, of the Word and Paradigm conception in Lieb (2005) that are required once the word-formation framework is extended to also cover inflection.

5.2  Topicality

The Word and Paradigm model characterized in Lieb (2005) has proved its value in the applied work listed above, and is of independent interest being the only Word and Paradigm  model that assumes a strictly Item and Arrangement framework for both syntax and morphology. Even if modified to account for a process view of inflection, its general value will be unaffected.

The work on individual languages, some of them unrelated and representing different language types, demonstrates the suitability of an Integrational framework as a basis for language description, including language documentation, and independently represents significant results for the topics being studied. To mention just one example: Viguier (2013) is the most detailed, explicit, and comprehensive study yet of the tense, aspect, and mood system of any language.

The word-formation theories, still under development during the Fifth Stage, were beginning to show their relevance already then; they are paying special attention to topics of current interest such as syntactic word formation, treating them in a unified framework.

Earlier treatments of word formation in Integrational Linguistics were also showing their influence. For example, the important concept of word-formation stem form (stem form specifically used in word-formation processes), originally introduced by Lieb into Integrational Linguistics and still used extensively in Nolda’s – though rejected in Lieb’s – currentword-formation model, was getting increasingly employed in German work on word formation (largely under the influence of Eisenberg and Nanna Fuhrhop); as in Fleischer and Barz (2012) or in computational linguistics in the lexical project IMSlex:

6.  Sixth Stage (2014 to 2018, open-ended)

Continuation and outlook

6.1  Organization and topics

There has been new Ph.D. work using Integrational Linguistics, and other work has been continuing. The researchers most active during this period have been Lieb, Viguier, Nolda, and Budde, working on a number of diverse topics; for relevant publications, see the general Bibliography that is part of the present Homepage or the authors’ individual homepages. In the case of Budde, language acquisition has developed as another key topic, and Nolda has added to his work in computational linguistics by working on a program, compatible with but unrelated to Integrational Linguistics, for the semi-automatic annotation of learner texts from various points of view.  

A conference confronting the Integrational treatment of word formation and inflection with their treatment in other linguistic frameworks was organized by Viguier at the Sorbonne Nouvelle in 2014 (“Formation lexicale et flexion dans les approches ‘Mots et Paradigmes’ ”).

Participation in a number of conferences has been leading to new publications in Integrational Linguistics. In particular, Lieb (2018) on linguistic description, and Nolda (2018a), using and documenting Nolda’s theory of word formation, have both resulted from participation in a conference on ‘Linguistic Realism’, held at the University of Braunschweig in 2015. In 2017, Lieb participated in the typology work group of the 50th Annual Meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea; his contribution severely criticized Haspelmath’s conception of ‘comparative concepts’ vs. ‘descriptive categories’; a publication may be expected. This recent work by Lieb represents a return to topics that were prominent during the Second Stage (see Section 2.1, above).

A major achievement during the Sixth Stage has been the publication of the two-thousand-page Linguistic research in progress: The Berlin Research Colloquium on Integrational Linguistics 1992–2003, Proceedings (Parts I to XXII) (Lieb ed. 2017); see Sec. 4.1.1, above.

Integrational Linguistics has again been represented in linguistic encyclopedias or dictionaries, in relation to Chinese linguistics by Su (2017) and with respect to some key syntactic notions by Nolda, 2014 and 2018 in Schierholz and Wiegand (2012–) and (2018).

6.2  Topicality

The Sixth Stage has not yet reached its end, and publications have been too recent to evaluate their importance and effects. However, Lieb ed. (2017) may well be considered a major reference source for years to come not only for Integrational Linguists but, more generally, for researchers who are seriously interested in developing a theory of language; and Lieb (2018), arguing for (i) the importance of theories of language for grammar writing, (ii) the primacy of informal grammars in certain respects, and (iii) choosing an axiomatic format for formal grammars, presents a serious challenge to current approaches to grammar writing.

Moreover, the work done on word formation and inflection by Lieb (in progress) and Nolda challenges standard and recent approaches in this area.

Representation of Integrational Linguistics or its key concepts in recent linguistic encyclopedias or dictionaries testifies – once again after Sackmann (2006) – to the recognition and continuing influence of the approach, and so does its use as part of the theoretical background in the 2000-page study Gunkel et al. (2017), one of the largest studies in comparative morphosyntax ever to appear.  

6.3  Outlook

Work is under way in the Integrational framework. What is missing, is a book-size introduction to Integrational Linguistics, and, finally, publication of the follow-up volumes to Lieb (1983b). These, at last, will be materializing (compare Lieb ed. 2017: Part I, xvii), characterizing the approach from a current perspective and presenting essential texts on its foundations and development.


(Whenever possible, titles are quoted as they appear in the Bibliography that is part of this Homepage, which should also be consulted for a more complete view of the work done in Integrational Linguistics. * = not an IL-title; (*) = IL-influence)

*Behme, Christina, and Martin Neef (eds.). 2018. Essays on Linguistic Realism. Amsterdam: Benjamins. (= Studies in Language Companion Series 196).

Budde, Monika. 2000a. Wortarten: Definition und Identifikation. Doct. diss., Freie Universität Berlin. [Published on microfiche, available from the University Library].

Drude, Sebastian. 2004. Wörterbuchinterpretation: Integrative Lexikographie am Beispiel des Guaraní. Tübingen: Niemeyer. (= Lexicographica, Series maior 120).

Drude, S., Reiter, S., Lieb, H.-H., Awetí, W., Awetí, A., Awetí, Y., Awetí, T., Su, X., &

Roessler, E.-M. 2006. A documentation of the Awetí language and aspects of their culture [Multimedia Language Archive]. In DoBeS Archive. Nijmegen, The Netherlands: Max-Planck-Institut für Psycholinguistik. DOBES-Programm / VolkswagenStiftung. Retrieved from

Eisenberg, Peter. 1986. Grundriß der deutschen Grammatik. Stuttgart: Metzler. 

Eisenberg, Peter. 1998. Grundriß der deutschen Grammatik. Band 1: Das Wort. Stuttgart: Metzler.

Eisenberg, Peter. 1999. Grundriß der deutschen Grammatik. Band 2: Der Satz. Stuttgart: Metzler.

Eisenberg, Peter. 2013. [4th edition of  Eisenberg 1998 and 1999]

Eschenlohr, Stefanie. 1999. Vom Nomen zum Verb: Konversion, Präfigierung und Rückbildung im Deutschen. Hildesheim etc.: Olms. (= Germanistische Linguistik: Monographien 3).

Falkenberg, Thomas. 1996a. Grammatiken als empirische axiomatische Theorien. Tübingen: Niemeyer. (= Linguistische Arbeiten 346).

(*) Fleischer, Wolfgang, and Irmhild Barz. 2012. Wortbildung der deutschen Gegenwartssprache [Word Formation in Contemporary German]. 4th, rev. ed. Berlin: de Gruyter. (De Gruyter Studium.)

Friedrich, Svetlana. 2009. Definitheit im Russischen. Frankfurt am Main etc.: Peter Lang. (= Potsdam Linguistic Investigations – Potsdamer Linguistische Untersuchungen – Recherches Linguistiques à Potsdam 4).

(*) Gunkel, Lutz, Adriano Murelli, Susan Schlotthauer, Bernd Wiese, Gisela Zifonun. 2017. Grammatik des Deutschen im europäischen Vergleich: Das Nominal. [The Grammar of German from a Contrastive European Perspective: The Nominal.] In collaboration with Christine Günther and Ursula Hoberg. (= Schriften des Instituts für Deutsche Sprache 14).

Hla Myat Thway. 2010. Yinchia studies. Documentation and analysis of a language of Myanmar (Burma). Frankfurt am Main etc.: Peter Lang. (= European University Studies, Series XXI: Linguistics, 356).

*Lieb, Hans-Heinrich. 1964. Der Umfang des historischen Metaphernbegriffs. Ph.D. diss. Universität zu Köln. [Available from the University Library.]

Lieb, Hans-Heinrich. 1967b. “A note on transformational grammars”. Word 23. 369-373.

Lieb, Hans-Heinrich. 1968a. "Zur Kritik von N. Chomskys Theorie der Ebenen". Lingua 19. 341–385.

Lieb, Hans-Heinrich. 1970b. "Probleme der sprachlichen Abweichung". Linguistische Berichte 7. 13–23.

Lieb, Hans-Heinrich. 1970c. Sprachstadium und Sprachsystem: Umrisse einer Sprachtheorie. Stuttgart etc.: Kohlhammer.

Lieb, Hans-Heinrich. 1974a. "Grammars as theories: The case for axiomatic grammar (Part I)". Theoretical Linguistics 1. 39–115.

Lieb, Hans-Heinrich. 1975c. "Universals of language: Quandaries and prospects". Foundations of Language 12. 471–511.

Lieb, Hans-Heinrich. 1976c. "Grammars as theories: The case for axiomatic grammar (Part II)". Theoretical Linguistics 3. 1–98.

Lieb, Hans-Heinrich. 1977e. Outline of Integrational Linguistics: preliminary version. Berlin: Freie Universität Berlin, Fachbereich Germanistik. (Linguistische Arbeiten und Berichte [LAB] Berlin (West) 9).

Lieb, Hans-Heinrich. 1978c. "Universals and linguistic explanation". In: Joseph H. Greenberg, Charles A. Ferguson, and Edith A. Moravcsik (eds). Universals of human language, Vol 1: Method & theory. Stanford: Stanford University Press. 157–202.

Lieb, Hans-Heinrich. 1983a. "Akzent und Negation im Deutschen – Umrisse einer einheitlichen Konzeption". Linguistische Berichte 84. 1–32; 85. 1–48.

Lieb, Hans-Heinrich. 1983b. Integrational Linguistics. Vol. I.: General Outline. Amsterdam; Philadelphia: Benjamins. (= Current Issues in Linguistic Theory 17).

Lieb, Hans-Heinrich. 1987. "Sprache und Intentionalität: der Zusammenbruch des Kognitivismus". In: Rainer Wimmer (ed.). Sprachtheorie: Der Sprachbegriff in Wissenschaft und Alltag. Jahrbuch 1986 des Instituts für deutsche Sprache. Düsseldorf: Schwann. 11–76 (= Sprache der Gegenwart 71).

Lieb, Hans-Heinrich. 1988c. BEVATON — Berliner Verfahren zur auditiven Tonhöhenanalyse. Tübingen: Niemeyer. (= Linguistische Arbeiten 205).

Lieb, Hans-Heinrich. 1992c. "Integrational Semantics: An integrative view of linguistic meaning". In: Maxim Stamenov (ed.). Current Advances in Semantic Theory. Amsterdam; Philadelphia: Benjamins. 239–268 (= Current Issues in Linguistic Theory 73).

Lieb, Hans-Heinrich. 1992d. "Paradigma und Klassifikation: Explikation des Paradigmenbegriffs". Zeitschrift für Sprachwissenschaft 11. 3–46.

Lieb, Hans-Heinrich. 1992f. "The case for a New Structuralism". In: Lieb (ed.). 1992g. 33–72.

Lieb, Hans-Heinrich. 1992g. Prospects for a New Structuralism. Amsterdam; Philadelphia: Benjamins. (= Current Issues in Linguistic Theory 96).

Lieb, Hans-Heinrich. 1993a. “Integrational Linguistics". In: Joachim Jacobs, Arnim von Stechow, Wolfgang Sternefeld, and Theo Vennemann (eds). Syntax: Ein internationales Handbuch zeitgenössischer Forschung / An International Handbook of Contemporary Research. Vol.1. Berlin etc.: de Gruyter. 430–468.

Lieb, Hans-Heinrich. 1993g. Linguistic variables: Towards a unified theory of linguistic variation. Amsterdam; Philadelphia: Benjamins. (= Current Issues in Linguistic Theory 108).

Lieb, Hans-Heinrich. 1998b. "Morph, Wort, Silbe: Umrisse einer Integrativen Phonologie des Deutschen". In: Matthias Butt, and Nanna Fuhrhop (eds). Variation und Stabilität in der Wortstruktur: Untersuchungen zu Entwicklung, Erwerb und Varietäten des Deutschen und anderer Sprachen. Hildesheim etc.: Georg Olms Verlag. (= Germanistische Linguistik 141–142). 334–407. [Published in 1999.]

Lieb, Hans-Heinrich. 1999.  Was ist Wortakzent? Eine Untersuchung am Beispiel des Deutschen". In: Wolfgang Schindler, and Jürgen Untermann (eds). Grippe, Kamm und Eulenspiegel: Festschrift für Elmar Seebold zum 65. Geburtstag. Berlin; New York: de Gruyter. 225–261.

Lieb, Hans-Heinrich. 2005. "Notions of paradigm in grammar". In: D. Alan Cruse, Franz Hundsnurscher, Michael Job, and Peter Lutzeier (eds). Lexikologie / Lexicology: Ein internationales Handbuch zur Natur und Struktur von Wörtern und Wortschätzen / An international handbook on the nature and structure of words and vocabularies. Vol.2. Berlin etc.: de Gruyter. (= Handbücher zur Sprach- und Kommunikationswissenschaft 21.2). 1613–1646.

Lieb, Hans-Heinrich. 2008. "The case for two-level phonology: German Obstruent Tensing and Nasal Alternation in French". In: Robin Sackmann (ed.). Explorations in Integrational Linguistics: four essays on German, French, and Guaraní. (Studies in Integrational Linguistics, 1). Amsterdam; Philadelphia: Benjamins. (= Current Issues in Linguistic Theory 285). 21–96. 

Lieb, Hans-Heinrich. 2011a. "Syntaktische Funktionen integrativ: eine Skizze (2009)". As Appendix A in: Xiaoqin Su, Reflexivität im Chinesischen. Eine integrative Analyse. Mit zwei Anhängen von Hans-Heinrich Lieb. Frankfurt am Main etc.: Peter Lang. (= European University Studies, Series XXI: Linguistics, 371). 249–256.

Lieb, Hans-Heinrich. 2013. Towards a general theory of word formation: the Process Model. Berlin: Freie Universität Berlin. (An open access publication.). 101 pp.

Lieb, Hans-Heinrich. 2018. “Describing linguistic objects in a realist way.” In: Behme and  Neef (eds.), 79-138.

Lieb, Hans-Heinrich (ed.) 2017. Linguistic research in progress: Proceedings of the Berlin Research Colloquium on Integrational Linguistics 1992 – 2003 (Parts I to XXII) / Berliner Forschungskolloquium Integrative Sprachwissenschaft 1992-2003. Protokolle (Teil I bis XXII). Berlin: Freie Universität Berlin. [Ca. 2000 pp.]

Lieb, Hans-Heinrich, and Sebastian Drude. 2000. Advanced Glossing.

Lutzeier, Peter Rolf. 1981. Wort und Feld: Wortsemantische Fragestellungen unter besonderer Berücksichtigung des Wortfeldbegriffes. Tübingen: Niemeyer. (= LA 103).

Moltmann, Friederike. 1992. Lokalität und Individuation: Studien zur Ereignis- und Nominalphrasensemantik. München: Fink. (= Studien zur Theoretischen Linguistik 12).

Nolda, Andreas. 2007a. Die Thema-Integration: Syntax und Semantik der 'gespaltenen Topikalisierung' im Deutschen. Tübingen: Stauffenburg. (Studien zur deutschen Grammatik 72).

Nolda, Andreas. 2012/2013. Konversion im Deutschen – Muster und Beschränkungen: Mit einem Grundriss einer allgemeinen Theorie der Wortbildung. Habilitation thesis, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, 2013. [Publication in preparation.]

Nolda, Andreas. 2018. “Explaining linguistic facts in a realist theory of word formation.” In: Behme and Neef (eds.), 203-234.

Nolda, Andreas, and Oliver Teuber (eds.). 2011. Syntax and morphology multidimensional. Berlin: de Gruyter Mouton. (= Interface Explarations 24.)

Peters, Jörg. 1997. Lautproduktion: Kognitive Grundlagen sprachlicher und vorsprachlicher Äußerungen. Opladen: Westdeutscher Verlag. (= Psycholinguistische Studien)

Richter, Heide. 1988. Indexikalität: Ihre Behandlung in Philosophie und Sprachwissenschaft. Tübingen: Niemeyer. (= Linguistische Arbeiten 217).

Sackmann, Robin. 2000. "Numeratives in Mandarin Chinese". In: Petra M. Vogel and Bernard Comrie (eds). Approaches to the typology of word classes. Berlin etc.: Mouton de Gruyter. (= Empirical Approaches to Language Typology 23). 421–477.

Sackmann, Robin. 2004. Numeratives: the syntax and semantics of classifiers and measures in Mandarin Chinese. Doct. diss., Freie Universität Berlin. [Published on microfiche. Available from the University Library.]

Sackmann, Robin. 2006. "Integrational Linguistics (IL)". In: Keith Brown (ed.-in-chief). Encyclopedia of language and linguistics. 2nd edition. Oxford: Elsevier. Vol.5. 704–713.

Sackmann, Robin. 2008b. Explorations in Integrational Linguistics: Four essays on German, French, and Guaraní. (Studies in Integrational Linguistics, 1). Amsterdam; Philadelphia: Benjamins. (= Current Issues in Linguistic Theory 285).

*Schierholz, Stefan J., and Herbert Ernst Wiegand (editors-in-chief). 2012–. Wörterbücher zur Sprach- und Kommunikationswissenschaft (WSK) Online. [Dictionaries of Linguistics and Communication Science  (WSK) Online.] Berlin: de Gruyter.

Schwaika, Oksana. Wortfeldkonzeptionen: Darstellung und Kritik am Beispiel deutscher Verben der Geldbeziehungen. Doct. diss., Universität Bielefeld.

Su, Xiaoqin. 2011. Reflexivität im Chinesischen. Eine integrative Analyse. Mit zwei Anhängen von Hans-Heinrich Lieb. Frankfurt am Main etc.: Peter Lang. (= European University Studies, Series XXI: Linguistics, 371).

Su, Xiaoqin. 2017. “Integrational Linguistics”. In: Rint Sybesma (general editor), Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics, Vol. 2, De-Med. Leiden and Boston: Brill. 427-441.

Viguier, Marie-Hélène. 2013. Tempussemantik: Das französische Tempussystem. Eine integrative Analyse. Berlin: de Gruyter. (= Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für Romanische Philologie 366).