28 March 2012

one of

In my previous two posts, I have discussed non-standard use of the plural ‑s suffix in Brunei English. One quite common pattern is the use of a singular noun after one of. I have found five examples in the 53 five-minute interviews that constitute my data. They are:
well ... it’s one of life’s ... mystery

I’m not ... sure because one of my cousin is from my mother’s side and the other is from my father’s side ... of the family

my coach is actually one of our senior

and one of our relative pick us up from the KL airport

the Sharm El Sheikh is one of ... the tourist ... site where ... it’s a bit similar like Ha- er Hawaii
In these cases, mystery, cousin, senior, relative and site would all be plural nouns in standard English.

It seems that speakers feel that the referent is singular, so the noun should have no plural suffix. I guess this is logical in a way.

I haven't seen this reported for other New Varieties of English; but I suspect it does occur elsewhere.