Thesis Theater: Sara Waldorf

Thesis Theater
Join Sara Waldorf on Tuesday, June 11, at 3pm ET, as she presents her thesis on "A 'Case-Study':  Functions of the Dative in Beowulf Lines 1439-2439."


Larry Swain
Larry Swain
Lecturer & Preceptor


June 11, 2019 - 3:00 pm EDT


June 11, 2019 - 4:00 pm EDT

On Tuesday, June 11, at 3pm ET, join Sara Waldorf as she presents her thesis for the MA in Language and Literature. She will be joined by Signum preceptor Larry Swain, who will facilitate the discussion.


“A ‘Case-Study’:  Functions of the Dative in Beowulf Lines 1439-2439” is the beginning of a project to identify the occurrences of the dative case in Beowulf, and categorize them by function.  This portion of the project encompasses 1,000 lines of the poem, from line 1439-2439.  The dative case in Old English is a rag-bag, containing functional remnants of what were once morphologically distinct cases.   The results of this syncretism are evident in the multiple roles one set of case endings fills.  This study identifies the occurrences of the dative case in the selected portion of the poem, and classifies them into one of 22 categories.  The project then shows how such categorization might be used to identify differences in grammatical style between one portion of the poem and another.  Such differences may be useful in examining questions such as date, sources, and authorship.

About the Presenter

Sara Waldorf has spent most of her adult life parrying the question, “But what are you going to DO with your English degree?” She currently works in business management, which confuses some people.  In her spare time she enjoys making things; traveling; canoeing, camping and hiking; and wildflower photography.