Cross-cultural Language in Clint Eastwood’s Western


This is a corpus-based text analysis of some of Clint Eastwood’s Western movies. Eastwood starred in and directed numerous Westerns. The present study looks at cross-cultural language used in four of his films; Unforgiven, High Plains Drifter, The Outlaw Josey Wales, and Gran Torino (which is not strictly a Western) using the full movie scripts. To understand the cross-cultural vocabulary in the text, corpus linguistic research methodology was used, examining word frequency. The Movie Corpus, the world’s largest online corpus with 100 million words from a variety of genres, has been employed in this research. In addition, text mining software KH Coder and Computer Language R are used in text analysis and calculation. This process is used to verify the language typically found in Eastwood’s four films. A second step will be to determine what theory best accounts for the language found. Since these films are not stereotypical Westerns as far as masculinity and heroism go, Edward Said’s theory of Orientalism will be used because it accounts for ethnicity and culture. Therefore, this theory will be adapted to the respective movie scripts, enabling us to examine Eastwood’s Western quantitatively. To summarize the results of just one of the movies, ten words were found with statistically significant usage in Unforgiven. For example, ‘gun', ‘horse', ‘rifle', 'shoot’ and ‘pistol’ were isolated in the calculation. These vocabulary items were more frequently used in the text of Unforgiven and are typical of words found in Westerns.

Author Information
Yujin Fukatsu, Gakushuin Women's University, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: BAMC2020
Stream: Linguistics

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon