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Levelt honoured as member of Orden Pour le mérite
The section of the "Orden Pour le mérite" in Berlin has appointed Prof. Dr. Willem Levelt, director (Emer.) and founder of the MPI for Psycholinguistics, as a new member of the "Orden Pour le mérite for Sciences and Arts". The membership of this order is one of the most renowned German awards for artists and scientists who enjoy outstanding respect worldwide for their excellent contributions. Levelt was honoured as a member of the order in a ceremony that took place in Berlin on May 29, 2011, in the presence of Federal President Christian Wulff.
June 16, 2011
Willem (Pim) J. M. Levelt is known as one of the most influential researchers of human language behaviour and speech production. Levelt was the first to describe cognitive processes that are crucial to speech production, and he has clarified the importance of the “mental lexicon”.
Levelt studied psychology in Leiden, completing a dissertation titled “On binocular rivalry” in 1965. The following year, he moved to the Harvard Center for Cognitive Studies. His subsequent research and teaching career included positions at the University of Illinois, the University of Groningen, and the Radboud University Nijmegen. From 1971 to 1972, Levelt was member of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, where he completed his trilogy “Formal grammars in linguistics and psycholinguistics”. In 1976 Levelt founded the Max Planck Project Group for Psycholinguistics, which continued from 1980 as the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, with Willem Levelt and Wolfgang Klein as directors.
Levelt is the author of numerous leading publications. Among them is his monograph “Speaking: From intention to articulation”, a seminal contribution to the theory of speech production. Since his retirement in 2006, Levelt has been concentrating on writing a monograph on the history of psycholinguistics.
Levelt talking to Federal President Christian Wulff.
Levelt is a member of numerous international scientific academies, including the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. From 2002 to 2005, he was president of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). Levelt has been granted honorary doctorates from the Universities of Maastricht, Antwerpen, Padua, and Leuven.