Annual Report 2007


The Royal Commission for Onomastics and Dialectology performs its scientific task under the high patronage of the Koninklijke Vlaamse Academie van België voor Wetenschappen en Kunsten and the Académie royale des Sciences, des Lettres et des Beaux-Arts de Belgique. It is the scientific aim of the Academy to study the onomastics (toponymy and anthroponymy) and the dialectology, especially in Belgium in both Germanic and Romance areas. The Commission therefore brings out scientific studies (Bulletin, Publications) about these disciplines. The Commission is also an advisory body; the government can always ask for its scientific advice.


The statutory meetings took place in the Palais des Académies – Paleis der Academiën in Brussels (Hertogstraat 1, rue Ducale) on 29 January, 21 May, and 29 October 2007. There were six section meetings (each time two of them on 29 January, 21 May, and 29 October 2007), one plenary meetings was held on 29 January, and two meetings of the board took place on 21 May, and 29 October 2007.

In addition, the Flemish section held an extraordinary board meetings of its own on 9 May 2007.

Lectures held at the plenary meeting

Jean GERMAIN: An Inventory of Walloon Inhabitant Names derivated from Toponyms

Paul T.C. KEMPENEERS: The family name Vicca: Dutch, not Spanish!

Lectures in the Flemish section

Magda DEVOS: Lexical Area Building in the Southwestern Dialects of Dutch

Hugo RYCKEBOER: Etymological dictionary of Belgian Municipality Names. Progress Report 2007

Jan GOOSSENS: The Myth of Low Saxon I & II

Lectures in the Walloon section

Marie-Guy BOUTIER: The Walloon toponyms My et Sy, municipality of Ferrières

Jean LOICQ: Some new Notes on Walloon hydronymy

Bernard ROOBAERT, Hydrotoponyms, toponymic dervations of hydronyms

Important deliberations in the board meeting, the plenary and the section meetings


The commission launched its own website on March 1 2007. The information published to the site includes the scientific and advisory activities and the international contacts of the commission and its members.

Etymological dictionary of Belgian municipality names

The Royal Commission for Onomastics and Dialectology will face the need for a scientifically updated synthetic reference book in which both the interested layman and scholars can look up the origin of the name of a municipality and on the basis of which further study of source material can be undertaken. Since the urgency seems to be felt more strongly on the Flemish side the Flemish section of the commission will complete its project under the title of Woordenboek van de Belgische gemeentenamen, deel 1: Vlaanderen en Brussel (Dictionary of Belgian municipality names, volume 1: Flanders and Brussels) thereby leaving open the possibility of a complementary part for the Francophone part of the country.

The board the Royal Commission on Onomastics and Dialectology

  • Flemish section
    • President: Hugo RYCKEBOER
    • Secretary: Jacques VAN KEYMEULEN
    Walloon section
    • President: Jean LOICQ
    • Secretary: Jean GERMAIN
    Board of the Koninklijke Commissie voor Toponymie en Dialectologie – Commission royale de Toponymie et de Dialectologie
    • President: Marie-Guy BOUTIER
    • Vice-president: Hugo RYCKEBOER
    • Secretary general: José CAJOT

The Bulletin LXXIX (2007) counts 496 pages. It was exchanged for a number of periodicals and with scientific institutions. The publications acquired by purchase or exchange were stored in the library, which is located in the library of the Palais des Académies – Paleis der Academiën in Brussels (Hertogstraat 1, rue Ducale). One hundred copies are placed at the disposal of researchers and students at the scientific centres of the Belgian universities.

With regard to street names the Commission was consulted by numerous Belgian local authorities in 2007.

The Commission further continued the linguistic adaptation of the geographical names of the ordnance survey maps published by the Nationaal Geografisch Instituut – Institut national géographique.

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