Morphology and Syntax

  • David Deterding
  • Salbrina Sharbawi
Part of the Multilingual Education book series (MULT, volume 4)


This chapter considers word structure, particularly the presence and absence of suffixes to indicate number and tense, and then discusses other aspects of syntax, including modal verbs such as ‘will’ and ‘would’, the occurrence of the auxiliary verb ‘do’, finite clauses with no subject, the use of determiners such as ‘a’ and ‘the’ before count and non-count nouns, subject-auxiliary inversion in indirect questions, and the use of prepositions between verbs and their objects, such as ‘discuss about’. Attempts are made to quantify the use of the -s suffix on nouns and on verbs and also the occurrence of articles in the spoken data, though other aspects of the syntax of Brunei English are more tentative, relying on a few examples to illustrate various salient features that characterise the structure of sentences. It is finally suggested that many of the patterns found in Brunei English represent regularisation of English and furthermore they are shared by other new varieties of English, so some of the innovative patterns in Brunei may reflect the ways that English is evolving worldwide.


Count Noun Logical Plural Perfective Aspect Null Subject Plural Noun 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Deterding
    • 1
  • Salbrina Sharbawi
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Arts and Social SciencesUniversity of Brunei DarussalamGadongBrunei Darussalam

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