My current research, conducted under the supervision of Dr. Hugo C. Cardoso, focuses on understanding how Sri Lanka Portuguese varies, i.e. what are the external (social) and internal (linguistic) factors that affect the variable ways in which Sri Lanka Portuguese speakers talk. Relying on quantitative methods, I seek to identify patterns and correlations between how this language is used by individuals and by groups of people sharing common features (e.g. age, gender, geographical area, level of linguistic proficiency, etc.) It is hoped that this investigation can contribute empirical data on the sociolinguistics of minority and endangered speech communities, which still remain underrepresented in the field of sociolinguistics.

Before pursuing my PhD, I've worked as a research assistant at a multidisciplinary documentation project that, combining linguistics, sociolinguistics and ethnomusicology, aimed to create a digital corpus of transcribed and annotated materials representing modern manifestations of Sri Lanka Portuguese and the oral/musical traditions of its speakers.

Recent publications/outputs

Costa, Patrícia. 2022. Speakers’ perceptions of variation in Sri Lanka Portuguese. In Linguistweets3: The third international twitter conference on linguistics.

Costa, Patrícia & Hugo C. Cardoso. 2021. Variation in Sri Lanka Portuguese pronouns. In Linguistweets2: The second international twitter conference on linguistics.

Cardoso, Hugo C. & Patrícia Costa. 2021. Synchronic variation in Sri Lanka Portuguese personal pronouns. Journal of Pidgin and Creole Languages 36:1, 77-108.

Cardoso, Hugo C., Mahesh Radhakrishnan, Patrícia Costa & Rui Pereira. 2019. Documenting modern Sri Lanka Portuguese. In Pinharanda-Nunes, Mário & Hugo C. Cardoso (eds.), Documentation and Maintenance of Contact Languages from South Asia to East Asia: issues on theory and practice., 1-33. Honolulu, Estados Unidos: University of Hawai’i Press.


Since 2016, I have been conducting solo and team-based fieldwork in creole speech communities of São Tomé & Príncipe and Sri Lanka. Fieldwork is the most challenging and enriching aspect of the scientific enterprise; as Sali Tagliamonte (2016:89) puts it: "fieldwork is therapeutic because you lose yourself in another person's world. In the process you change yourself".