CIJNS/TIJNS/ACCIJNS: The relation between three tax terms in Middle Dutch and the formation of nasal vowels in Old French by Piet van Reenen
Dutch has two terms, CIJNS and TIJNS, for one type of tax, which are synonyms and almost homonyms. A third term, ACCIJNS, which in older Middle Dutch is ASSISE, denotes another type of tax. CIJNS, TIJNS and ASSISE/ACCIJNS have influenced each other. In Middle Dutch CIJNS, as opposed to TIJNS, is written with dozens of spellings, for instance chens, sise, tseys.
It will be argued that:
- CIJNS originates from Old French CENS, TIJNS from Low German TYNS
- ASSISE and TIJNS account for some of the dozens of spellings of CIJNS in Middle Dutch and the phonetic properties of Old French CENS account for the other spellings of CIJNS in Middle Dutch
- the absence of the nasal consonant in Middle Dutch spellings such as tseys for CIJNS originates from the Old French pronunciation of CENS, which after the loss of the nasal consonant in that language is pronounced with a nasal vowel only. In the resultant Old French pronunciation Dutch scribes may not always have perceived the nasality of this nasal vowel.