+0
David Crystal, in an article called Little Need to Worry, said "I've never counted just how many non-standard constructions of the type "we was" and "ain't" there are, but I would be surprised if the figure were more than 100".

How many do you think there are? Is there a really major difference between so called Standard English and so called Non-Standard English?
1 2
Comments  (Page 2) 
< In British English, at least, it is considered one of the main pointers towards 'uneducated/lower-lower class'. >

Really? By whom? And aren't you just inventing that lower-lower class label?
1) considered that way by pretty much everybody

2) Yes, I'm inventing it as I can't think of an appropriate existing label without getting very perjorative, as generally 'aint' is regional but still only usually used by the, ummm, well, lower working class let's say. The social class D2 and E groups if you are aware of these. British society is very hung up about these things still. I come from a working class family in an 'ain't area' but god help me if I'd ever said 'aint' as a child.
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
Milky
MrPedantic
First, we need to know how many items there are in the set {constructions}, of which {non-standard constructions} is presumably a subset.

The figure "100" is meaningless, otherwise.

MrP

Just think about all the ones that are continually labeled as non-standard, day after day, on this forum and maybe we can begin the topic discussion.

We already have the estimate for "non-standard": but for Crystal's figure to have meaning, we need to know how many constructions he considers "standard".

For instance, if there are 100 non-standard constructions, and 10,000 standard, the number of non-standard constructions is trivial.

However, if there are only 200 standard constructions, the figure of 100 is significant.

Does Crystal give a figure for standard constructions, out of interest?

MrP
<We already have the estimate for "non-standard": but for Crystal's figure to have meaning, we need to know how many constructions he considers "standard".>

Why? The question was put to all here. Crystal was only used at a springboard. Now, how different would you say Standard English is to Non-Standard English? Are there large differences?
The Handbook of World Englishes (Braj B. Kachru, Yamuna Kachru, Cecil L. Nelson) says the Longman grammar asserts that most variation between Standard and Non-Standard grammar occurs in the area of morphosyntax, and that syntax is largely variation free.
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
Milky<We already have the estimate for "non-standard": but for Crystal's figure to have meaning, we need to know how many constructions he considers "standard".>

Why?

Because Crystal calls his piece "Little need to worry"; the justification for which is contained in the sentence "I would be surprised if the figure were more than 100".

The implication is clearly that "100" is a small figure.

However, "100" means nothing, and is neither a small nor a large figure, unless we know how many constructions Crystal considers "standard".

MrP
<However, "100" means nothing, and is neither a small nor a large figure, unless we know how many constructions Crystal considers "standard".>

I see. Looks like you're finished here then, Mr P. Moving on...
Unless you have the numbers.

How many standard constructions do you think there are, in English?

MrP
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
MrPedanticHow many standard constructions do you think there are, in English?

MrP

A few thousand, I'd say.