Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


English Language and Literature

Committee Member

Eric Acton

Committee Member

Veronica Grondona


This study examines the claim that demonstratives are used more frequently in Latin comedies than in other genres (Karakasis, 2014; Palmer, 1975), as well as additional hypotheses regarding the use of demonstratives within this language. To examine these claims, I created a corpus composed of fragments of Early Latin authors of comedic, tragic, and non-dramatic works. I examined demonstratives within this corpus for frequency, form, syntactic role, affective force, co-occurrence with personal pronouns, and use in multimembral demonstrative sets. This study provides the first quantitative evaluation of demonstrative use for often neglected authors of Early Latin. It also identifies those theories regarding demonstrative use that have more support within this time and suggests why these theories might hold true and how they might impact the overall demonstrative count for comedy, tragedy, non-dramatic works, or Latin as a whole.