Doctoral Researcher

 UKRI Centre for Doctoral Training in Natural Language Processing
School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh

About Me

I’m Syd, a doctoral researcher at the University of Edinburgh, reading for the PhD in Natural Language Processing. My supervisors are Frank Mollica and Jennifer Culbertson, who also supervised my dissertation for the MSc in Psychological Research. I hold an MSc (Distinction) in Applied Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition from the Department of Education, University of Oxford. I earned a BA in Language Sciences with a focus on Theoretical and Portuguese Linguistics from the University of Lisbon. I also spent a semester in Germany at Saarland University where I studied Computational Linguistics and German. 

Research Interests

Broadly, I am interested in language acquisition (L1 and L2) and formulaic language. Specifically, I investigate how learners acquire semi-productive verb-argument structures such as kill time, using behavioural and computational experiments. My research is inter-disciplinary, drawing on theories and methods from psychology, linguistics (theoretical and applied), cognitive science, computer science, and statistics.
  I also dabble in experimental morphology with Professor Alina Villalva at the Centro de Linguística da Universidade de Lisboa where we investigate L1 Eurpoean Portuguese speakers’ intuitions on the formation of diminutives.

Selected Publications & Talks

  • Conference Proceedings
    • Almeida, I. & Souza, S. (2020). Tutoring EFL Students in Portugal: Rethinking Writing Center Methodology. Presented at the 11th International Conference of Experimental Linguistics, Athens, Greece. DOI: 10.36505/ExLing-2020/11/0019/000434
    • Souza, S., Villalva, A. & Pinto, C. (2020). The Grammar Behind Word Association Tasks. Presented at the 11th International Conference of Experimental Linguistics, Athens, Greece. DOI: 10.36505/ExLing-2020/11/0021/000436
  • Conference Presentations
    • Souza, S. (2022). Investigating Collocational Processing in Advanced L2 English Speakers (L1 Portuguese). Presented at the XVI Fórum de Partilha Linguística. [Book of Abstracts] Lisbon, Portugal.
    • Souza, S. & Chalmers, H. (2022). Semantic Transparency, Congruency & Processing Collocations in the L2. Presented at the Manchester Forum in Linguistics (mFiL 2022). [Book of Abstracts]. Manchester, UK.
    • Souza, S. & Chalmers, H. (2022). Processing Collocations: When semantic transparency & congruency collide. Presented at the 58th Annual Meeting of the Chicago Linguistics Society. Chicago, USA.
    • Souza, S. & Villalva, A. (2021). Root and word-based diminutives in European Portuguese. Presented at the 54th Annual Meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea. [Book of Abstracts]
    • Souza, S., Villalva, A., & Sobreiro, I. (2021). Plural Diminutives in European Portuguese: Experimental data from a lexical decision task. Presented at the XXXVI Encontro Nacional da Associação Portuguesa de Linguística Lisbon, Portugal.
    • Souza, S.. (2018). French as a Third Language: Foreign Languages within the Goan Education System. Presented at Didlang 2018 Gateways for Foreign Language Didactics. Lisbon, Portugal.
  • Conference Posters
    • Villalva, A., Souza, S., & Pinto, C. (2022). Word Associations: Analyzing Activation Pathways. Presented at the International Morphology Meeting 2020 (IMM2020). Vienna, Austria.