Some linguists divide Modern English between Early Modern English (c. 1450-1700) and Late or Later Modern English (or, simply, Modern English) which goes from 1700 to the present day. To some, Early Modern English is but one stage in the single continuous development of the English language. To others, it constitutes the first stage of Modern English. Yet other scholars have added the concept of World English dated from 1945 onwards.
All these changes transformed Old English into a Middle English that became virtually another language. In essence, Middle English blended Germanic and Romance sound systems. Words of Germanic origin were pronounced more or less with the values of Old English, whereas words of Romance origin were pronounced more or less with those of Norman French.
tially in these post-modern times. Others speak of World Englishes to stress the varieties of English as spoken throughout the world today.
As anything that is to be born, there had to be a period of gestation, a transition between Middle English and Early Modern English. Some place the beginning of an accelerated transitional period from the death of Chaucer at the end of the 1400s, and the termination of this period with the return of the monarchy in 1660. The XVth century "witnessed three outstanding developments: the rise of London English, the invention of printing, and the speed of the new learning" (Potter, 1975, p. 882).
Smith, L. (1993). Afterthoughts. London.
English, as we know it today, is the outcome of a relatively short and checkered history. With each subjugation by foreign invaders and with each cultural, economic, and political influence by foreign hordes and nations, came changes in the way the evolving hybridized--and often bastardized--language was spoken and written. This process is continuing today at an accelerated pace with no end in sight. As the expansion of World English permeates every corner of the globe, both differences and samenesses flourish.