The English language in Brunei Darussalam



ABSTRACT: This paper attempts to give a brief overview of the variety of English spoken in the small sultanate of Brunei Darussalam in Northwest Borneo. After outlining the role played by English in the country and, in particular, in the Bruneian education system, the paper describes some of the grammatical and lexical features which differ most obviously from the imposed exonormative educational model, Standard British English. The transcribed interviews and examples included have been taken from a corpus of spoken data recorded between 1990 and 1993 by the author in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei. The article also attempts to place Brunei English within the context of the other varieties of English spoken in Southeast Asia and suggests that, once the effects of the country's nationwide Malay-English bilingual education policy have taken full effect, there will be further distinctive developments in the variety of English spoken in Brunei Darussalam.