Second Addendum: “Injun” English

In our latest episode (On the Basis of Voice), we read an email from a listener, Ed Evanson. He sent us the paper he wrote on “Injun” English. Abstract below. If you’d like to email him for a copy of the paper, you can do so at ed.evanson96 AT



Academic interest in the media’s misrepresentation of Native American people has analysed gender discrimination (Oshana, 1981; Deloria, 1998; Adams, Keene & Koella, 2011; Coward, 2014) and linguistic discrimination (Meek, 2006) though never their intersection. Meek analyses Hollywood Injun English (HIE) as a linguistic simulacrum, i.e. a variety of English meant to imitate (though inaccurately) the speech of Native people. Her work further shows, that HIE has particular features which are used to index certain stereotypes ideologically associated with Native people in the United States. Table 1 lists the correspondence between the features and the themes. She shows that HIE is thereby a tool to maintain and reproduce certain ideologies about Native People that exist in dominant-produced media (Hall, 1980). I conducted a constructionist, theoretical thematic analysis in order to answer my research question: How do Native women engage with HIE in western films pre-Red power? My analysis attempts to expose how ideologies about Native women as old as the 1850s at least (Coward, 2014) have been maintained and reproduced as late as 1960. Since HIE is regularly used in modern media as well (Meek, 2006), it is crucial we understand its role in the fight against discriminatory ideologies about Native women.


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