International Council of Onomastic Sciences
The International Council of Onomastic Sciences (ICOS) is an international academic organization of scholars with a special interest in onomastics, the scientific study of names (e.g. place-names, personal names, and proper names of all other kinds). The official languages of ICOS are English, French, and German.
Work of the scholars of ICOS
- the origin and history of names,
- the personal name-systems used by different cultures,
- the demographic patterns of names in different societies,
- the use and significance of names of characters in literature,
- brand-name creation,
- many related topics in the naming of persons, places, institutions, works of art, and other miscellaneous objects.
They are also involved in practical projects such as the international standardization of geographical names.
One of the aims of ICOS, unlike many national societies for name-study, is the advancement, representation and co-ordination of name-research on an international level and in an interdisciplinary context.
To achieve this goal, it is committed to the publication of research and the development of research tools. Thus, its members come from diverse disciplines such as linguistics, philology, history, sociology, anthropology, psychology, geography and literary research.
This organization replaced the former International Committee of Onomastic Sciences, which was composed exclusively of representatives of member countries and did not welcome individual researchers as this new structure allows.
ICOS publishes the annual journal Onoma, which is its official publication. Onoma is managed by a General Editor in conjunction with an Editorial Board. It contains topical research reports as well as basic theoretical articles concerning all areas of scholarly name research. ICOS also publishes an irregular newsletter. ISSN 0078-463X.
ICOS has two active working groups, striving:
- to create an international bibliography of name-study
- to help create an internationally agreed technical terminology for name-study
The International Congress of Onomastic Sciences, which is normally held every three years, is a major academic conference organised on behalf of ICOS by one of its members. The General Assembly of ICOS, which also functions as its business meeting, and at which its officers are elected, is usually held at these congresses. The ordinary business of ICOS is transacted by the elected board of directors.
Until the present, the following congresses have been run:
- Paris, 1938
- Paris, 1947
- Bruxelles [Brussels], 1949
- Uppsala, 1952
- Salamanca, 1955
- München [Munich], 1958
- Firenze [Florence], 1961
- Amsterdam, 1963
- London, 1966
- Wien [Vienna], 1969
- Sofia, 1972
- Bern, 1975
- Kraków, 1978
- Ann Arbor, 1981
- Leipzig, 1984
- Québec, 1987
- Helsinki, 1990
- Trier, 1993
- Aberdeen, 1996
- Santiago de Compostela, 1999
- Uppsala, 2002
- Pisa, 2005
- York University, Toronto, 2008
- Barcelona, 2011
- Glasgow, 2014
- Debrecen, 2017
- Kraków, 2021 (postponed from 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic)
- Helsinki, 2024
The proceedings of each congress are available at the ICOS website.
- Professor Hendrik Jozef van de Wijer (Leuven), 1950–1968
- Professor Henri Draye (Leuven), 1969-1983
- Professor Karel Roelandts (Leuven), 1984–1990
- Professor Wilhelm F.H. Nicolaisen (New York / Aberdeen), 1990–1996
- Professor Robert Rentenaar (Amsterdam), 1996–1999
- Professor Isolde Hausner (Vienna), 1999–2002
- Dr. Mats Wahlberg (Uppsala), 2002–2005
- Professor Maria Giovanna Arcamone (Pisa), 2005–2008
- Professor Sheila Embleton (Toronto), 2008–2011
- Professor Carole Hough (Glasgow), 2011–2014
- Dr. Milan Harvalík (Prague), 2014–2017
- Dr. Paula Sjöblom (Turku), 2017–2021
- Dr. Katalin Reszegi (Debrecen), 2021–2024
- Nicolaisen, W. F. H. (March 1984). "In Memoriam: Henri Draye (1911–1983)". Names. 32 (1): 74–76. doi:10.1179/nam.19188.8.131.52. ISSN 0027-7738.
- "IM Karel Roelandts". alum.kuleuven.be (in Dutch). Retrieved 1 October 2018.
- Niehof, Femke. "Rob Rentenaar 23/9/1938 – 9/5/2016". meertens.knaw.nl. Retrieved 1 October 2018.
- "PhDr. Milan Harvalík, PhD – Ústav pro jazyk český". ujc.cas.cz. Retrieved 1 October 2018.