Volume 66, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0039-8691
  • E-ISSN: 2215-1214



Dutch has two terms, CIJNS and TIJNS, for one type of tax. A third term, ACCIJNS, which in older Middle Dutch is ASSIJS denotes another type of tax. CIJNS is written with dozens of spellings, for instance whereas the spelling of TIJNS is more or less stable, as can be established on the basis of 13th and 14th century Middle Dutch corpora. It is argued that

  1. CIJNS and TIJNS come from Latin CENSUS without intervention of Romance,
    • CIJNS, the southern form in Middle Dutch, via Old French C(H)ENS;
    • TIJNS, the northern form of Middle Dutch, via Low German TINS and High German ZINS, the T having originated in Low German;
  2. the many spelling variations of CIJNS are due to
    • the vowel of TIJNS which has influenced the vowel of CIJNS, for instance > ;
    • ASSIJS which in one area has temporarily lead to the loss of the in CIJNS, for instance ; later in the same and an adjacent area the opposite trend has led to ACCIJNS, in which CIJNS has become a derivation;
    • the absorption of the [n] by the preceding vowel of Old French CENS resulting in pronunciations such as [sẽ:s] or [sẽjs], sometimes perceived by Flemish speakers without nasality as for instance [sejs] noted ;
    • the begin group of Old French C(H)ENS reproduced in Dutch as for instance and pronounced as [ts], [tʃ], [s], [ʃ].


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