Index Mapping - Sub-field mapped instead of root field

My index mapping specifies

            "subjects": {
                "type": "keyword"

Normally, when I add a document with the subjects field, it works perfectly. However, if I add a document like this. The root-level subjects field is not indexed. Does this sound like intended behaviour or a possible bug?

	"subjects": "x"
	"request": {
		"subjects": "y"

I am using Elasticsearch 6.2.3. Thanks.

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