Standard Article

Quirk, Randolph

  1. Christian Mair

Published Online: 5 NOV 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781405198431.wbeal0991

The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics

How to Cite

Mair, C. 2012. Quirk, Randolph. The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 5 NOV 2012


Randolph Quirk was born on the Isle of Man in 1920. In 1939 he enrolled at University College London (UCL), to read English under Albert Hugh Smith and Norse under Raymond Wilson Chambers. Having served in World War II from 1940, he resumed his studies in 1945. On his graduation in 1947 he joined UCL's English Department as a lecturer and was subsequently awarded the degrees of MA, PhD and DLitt, all solely in the fields of medieval English and Norse. He spent a year at Yale and Michigan in the United States as a Commonwealth Fund (Harkness) Fellow in 1951–2 and moved to Durham to become a Reader (1954) and subsequently a Professor of English (1958). He returned to UCL as a Professor of English in 1960 and succeeded Albert Hugh Smith as Quain Professor in 1968. Beyond his immediate professional domain in (English) linguistics, Randolph Quirk has been active in university and academic politics, serving as vice-chancellor of the University of London (1981–5) and president of the British Academy (1985–9). In recognition of his services, he was made a life peer (Lord Quirk of Bloomsbury) in 1994 and, as such, became an active member of the British House of Lords. The following universities have expressed their recognition of his work through the award of honorary doctorates: Aston, Bar Ilan, Bath, Brunel, Copenhagen, Durham, Essex, Glasgow, Helsinki, Leicester, Liège, London, Lund, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Nijmegen, Open University, Paris, Poznan, Prague, Reading, Richmond, Salford, Sheffield, Southern California, Uppsala, and Westminster.


  • 20th century;
  • World Englishes;
  • grammar