03 December 2013

Brothers and Sisters

I previously discussed (here) the fact that Bruneians tend to include themselves when counting their siblings; so if I have one brother and two sisters, then speakers of English in Brunei would tend to say that I have four siblings.

My UBD colleague, James McLellan, has told me that this comes from Malay, where the following sentence:

Saya ada empat orang adik-beradik
    I   have   four (people) brothers-and sisters

would mean 'I am one of four children', not 'I have four brothers and sisters'; and various FASS collaeagues, including our Dean, Noor Azam, yesterday confirmed this usage.