So if I wrote a book that put forward the proposition that Shakespeare spoke English and that I spoke English and that therefore we both spoke the same language, I would be taken aback if critics argued
1. I don't accept that: there are loads of words you use that Shakespeare didn't and vice versa or
2. I don't accept that; the phonograph was only invented in the ninteenth century so we don't know how Shakespeare pronounced his words or
3. I don't accept that: Shakespeare came from the West Midlands, you are from London ad we know from many sources that the two dialects were markedly diferent or
4.I don't accept that: the "Shakespearean" English you are referring to was likely a standardized version of the language just as Modern English is a standardized version of the native language each Englishman grew up with.
All arguments advanced in opposition to my thesis.
The rate of change only becomes relevant FOR ORTHODOXY who believe that Anglo-Saxon changed into English and Latin into French in a period of time time roughly analogous from the time that separates Shakespeare to ourselves.
Which reminds me that I have been reproved for a couple things that I honestly thought were Holy Writ. French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese (and others) are called the "Romance Languages" because they came from Roman (i.e. Latin); Latin America is called that for the same reason. Now I am being told something different. I do address this in the book but if anyone wants to take issue here I'm more than willing to re-state the case.
And on the subject of Latin, Nonconformist's statement "There were records of Latin spoken during the height of the Roman Empire after which Latin "died," became fixed, discontinued..." is to put it mildly disingenous.
We have records in Latin going back to the sixth century BC, we have records of Latin at the height of the Empire, we have records of Latin from the sixth century AD, we have records of Latin in the twenty-first century AD, and in all that time, it changed not one whit, not one jot, not one word, not one bit of syntax, not one bit of grammatical structure (OK, OK, Cicero introduced a rhetorical flourish or two and Gregory of Tours made an error or two but still...)
All youse guys who've spent the last two days queuing up to inform me how languages change might ponder that and give me your explanation.
Me, I have to explain nothing because in my book Latin was always a dead language, like Hebrew, like Sanskrit, like Classical Arabic, like Shakespearan English, that is used for purposes where being unchanged and unchangig is the point. It was never a spoken language in the ordinary sense at all, so certainly could not have given rise to French, Spanish etc. But I'm pepared to listen to your version.