Walloons - Encyclopedia


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WALLOONS (Wallons, from a common Teut. word meaning "foreign," cf. Ger. welsch, Du. waalsch, Eng. Welsh), a people akin to the French, but forming a separate branch of the Romance race, inhabiting the Belgian provinces of Hainaut, Namur, Liege, parts of Luxemburg and southern Brabant, parts of the French departments of Nord and Ardennes, and a few villages in the neighbourhood of Malmedy in Rhenish Prussia. The Walloons are descended from the ancient Gallic Belgi, with an admixture of Roman elements. They are in general characterized by greater vivacity and adaptability than their Flemish neighbours, while they excel their French neighbours in endurance and industry. Their numbers are reckoned in Belgium at between 2,000,000 and 3,000,000. The Walloon dialect is a distinct branch of the Romance languages, with some admixture of Flemish and Low German. It was used as a literary language until the s5th century, when it began to be assimilated to French, by which it was ultimately superseded.

Grandgagnage, De l'origine des Wallons (Liege, 1852), Vocabulaire des noms wallons, &c. (2nd ed., 1857), and Dict. etymol. de la langue wallonne (t. i. and ii., 1845-1851; t. iii., byScheler, 1880); J. Dejardin, Dict. des "spots" ou proverbes wallons (1863); Van der Kindere, Recherches sur l'ethnologie de la Belgique (Brussels, 1872); Demarteau, Le Flamand, le Wallon, &c. (Liege, 1889); M. Wilmotte, Le Wallon, Histoire et litterature (Brussels, 1893); Monseur, Le Folklore wallon (Brussels, 1892). [X.]

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