Noun Compounds in Photography

  • Iryna Mykytka Universidad Católica de Murcia


Compounding is considered to be the most productive device in coining new words in many languages, including English. Numerous studies have dealt with compounds in recent decades. However, in spite of a large number of works on compounds in the general language, few authors have dealt with compounds in specialized languages. We find studies on compounds in science and technology or architecture, just to mention a few. The present article focuses on compound nouns in photography, a field that has to date not been researched in this regard but is extremely rich and interesting. The aim of this study is to outline the types of noun compounds in photography and to illustrate the range of semantic relationships and morphosyntactic patterns that occur in coining new noun compounds in the photography lexis. In order to carry out the study, a corpus-based approach was followed. The data was gathered from professional photography blogs providing authentic up-to-date lexis. The results show that there is a large presence and variety of patterns of nouncompounds in photography, such as noun compounds made up of noun + noun (photo album, time-lapse, shutter speed), verb + noun (catchlight, burn tool, protect filter), adjective + noun (white balance, softbox, glowing filter) and phrase compounds (depth of focus, rule of thirds, pan and tilt).

Author Biography

Iryna Mykytka, Universidad Católica de Murcia
Iryna Mykytka is a lecturer and researcher in the Department of Modern Languages at the Catholic University of Murcia. She holds a PhD in Arts and Humanities from the University of Alacant. Her research interests lie in the area of English for Specific Purposes, with a particular focus on the language of photography. Her recent publications deal with metaphors in photography and Anglicisms in the Spanish register of photography.


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