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Brunei is about 5,765km2 in size, and it has a population a little over 400,000. It is located about 5° north of the equator, on the north coast of the island of Borneo. Its history is usually traced back to the conversion to Islam of the first Sultan in the fourteenth century. From 1888 till 1984, Brunei was a British protectorate, but in 1984 it regained its full independence. The main language spoken in Brunei is Brunei Malay, while Standard Malay is the national language and English is also widely spoken. Various dialects of Chinese are spoken, and there are a number of minority languages such as Kedayan, Tutong and Murut. In addition to providing a background to the geography, history and languages of Brunei, this chapter also introduces the data analysed in this book, principally the UBDCSBE corpus of spoken data, the 1-h interview with Umi, and the data from the two English-language newspapers, the Borneo Bulletin and The Brunei Times.
KeywordsMinority Language Fourteenth Century Newspaper Data English Usage Full Independence
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