So-called NEW ENGLISHES, distinct forms of English which have emerged in postcolonial settings and countries around the globe, have typically been regarded individually, as unique varieties shaped by idiosyncratic historical conditions and contact settings, and no coherent theory to account for these processes has been developed so far. This article argues that despite all obvious dissimilarities, a fundamentally uniform developmental process, shaped by consistent sociolinguistic and language-contact conditions, has operated in the individual instances of rerooting the English language in another territory. At the heart of this process there are characteristic stages of identity construction by the groups involved, with similar relationships between the parties in migration contact settings (i.e. the indigenous population and immigrant groups, respectively) having resulted in analogous processes of mutual accommodation and, consequently, similar sociolinguistic and structural outcomes. Outlining a basic developmental scenario, I suggest that speech communities typically undergo five consecutive phases in this processÑFOUNDATION, EXONORMATIVE STABILIZATION, NATIVIZATION, ENDONORMATIVE STABILIZATION, and DIFFERENTIATION Ñand I describe the sociolinguistic characteristics of each one. This framework is then applied to case studies of seven different countries (Fiji, Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand) which, I argue, are currently positioned at different points along the developmental cycle.