You are here: Home News News archive Mark Dingemanse awarded Otto Hahn Medal

This content is archived, it could be outdated.

Mark Dingemanse awarded Otto Hahn Medal

Every year, a small selection of promising young scientists is awarded the prestigious Otto Hahn Medal by the Max Planck Society. Mark Dingemanse received the medal for his 2011 dissertation on the meaning and use of ideophones in Siwu, a language spoken in Ghana. On June 5, 2013, there will be an official ceremony in Potsdam.
Mark Dingemanse awarded Otto Hahn Medal

May 8, 2013

The Otto Hahn Medal recognises outstanding scientific achievements and is intended to encourage high calibre junior scientists to continue a promising career in research. On June 5, the medal will be presented in an official ceremony during the general meeting of the Max Planck Society in Potsdam.

"It’s a tremendous honour to receive this award," says Dingemanse. "This is a wonderful recognition of my past work and also a great source of motivation for the future." He also sees the award as a sign of the growing maturity of work on ideophones and iconicity. "Until recently ideophones were often ignored, even in languages in which they are a major word class on a par with nouns and verbs."

Investigating ideophones

Mark Dingemanse 2"Today, cross-linguistic research into ideophones is thriving," Dingemanse continues. "I hope my thesis, along with other current work on ideophones, will serve the goal of providing scientists across disciplines with fruitful ways of thinking about depiction in language, and with a robust set of methods to investigate ideophones and similar phenomena within and across languages."

Dingemanse started as a PhD student in the Language and Cognition Department of the MPI for Psycholinguistics in 2007 and defended his thesis in 2011. His supervisors were Stephen Levinson, Gunter Senft and Felix Ameka. Currently, he is contributing to the ERC project Human Sociality and Systems of Language Use, as well as continuing his research on ideophones and the role of depiction in everyday language. Earlier this year, he received the 2012 AVT/Anéla Award for the best 2011 dissertation in linguistics in the Netherlands.

Awarded MPI researchers

In 2012, Matthias Sjerps of MPI's Psychology of Language Department was also awarded the Otto Hahn Medal for his 2011 dissertation at MPI's Language Comprehension Department about the way listeners manage to deal with variation in speech. In 2011, Eva Reinisch, former MPI member and currently a research fellow at the Ludwig Maximillian University in Munich (Germany), also received this prestigious award.

See also Dingemanse's personal page and blog.



About MPI

This is the MPI

The Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics is an institute of the German Max Planck Society. Our mission is to undertake basic research into the psychological,social and biological foundations of language. The goal is to understand how our minds and brains process language, how language interacts with other aspects of mind, and how we can learn languages of quite different types.

The institute is situated on the campus of the Radboud University. We participate in the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, and have particularly close ties to that institute's Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging. We also participate in the Centre for Language Studies. A joint graduate school, the IMPRS in Language Sciences, links the Donders Institute, the CLS and the MPI.



Max Planck Institute
for Psycholinguistics


Street address
Wundtlaan 1
6525 XD Nijmegen
The Netherlands

Mailing address
P.O. Box 310
6500 AH Nijmegen
The Netherlands

Phone:   +31-24-3521911
Fax:        +31-24-3521213

Public Outreach Officer

Image right