Senior Instructor

Director of Research Centre for Luso-Asian Studies
8822 8908

Consultation Hours
Mondays & Thursdays 4pm - 5:30pm

Or by appointment via

  • 1988 – Bachelor Degree in Modern Languages and Literatures – Univeristy of Lisbon, Portugal
  • 1990 – Teacher Training Diploma (English and German as Foreign Languages) – University of Lisbon
  • 2001 – Masters in Linguistics – Creolistics, University of Macau
  • 2011 – PHD in Linguistics – Creole Studies: language variation and change, University of Macau. Thesis title: Estudo da Expressão Morfo-Sintáctica das Categorias de Tempo, Modo e Aspecto em Maquista (A Study of the Morphosyntactic Expression of the Categories of Time, Mode and Aspect in Makista.
Research Interests

Research Area

  • Portuguese as L3: teaching and learning strategies
  • Syntax and morphology & Sociolinguistics of Portuguese-based Creoles of Asia (special focus on Kristang and Makista)
  • Syntax and morphology & Sociolinguistics of non-standard contact varieties of Portuguese in Asia (Macau)
  • Language and Ethnic Identity issues among the Asian speakers of Portuguese-based Creoles and Asian speakers of standard and non-standard varieties of Portuguese.

Research Projects

Below are the research projects I have been involved in since commencing work at University Macau in 2003/2004, listed from the most recent (on-going) to the earliest one.

1. Makista Documentation and Digital Archive Project

Funding Body/Scheme:  Fully funded by the University of Macau

Project Period : 01/10/2016 – 30/09/2019

Role in the Project:  Principal Investigator

2. Survey of Language Attitudes and Domains of Use of the Asian Portuguese-based                                Creoles  Makista (Macau) and Kristang (Malaysia)

Funding Body/Scheme:  Fully funded by the University of Macau

Project Period : 16/04/2012 – 30/04/2013

Role in the Project: Principal Investigator


 Funding Body/Scheme:  Fully funded by the University of Macau

Total Funding (MOP): (As co-investigator I have not had access to this information)

Project Period: 01/01/2010 – 30/09/2012

Role in the Project: Co-Investigator

Principal Investigator. Professor Roberval Teixeira e Silva

 4. The Portuguese-based Creole of Macau – Makista – in the XIX and XX Centuries

Funding Body/Scheme:  Jointly funded by the University of Macau  and the Macau


Total Funding (MOP): (As co-investigator I have not had access to this information)

Project Period : 01/01/2006 – 30/09/2010

Role in the Project: Co-Investigator

Principal Investigator. Professor Alan Norman Baxter

Courses Regularly Taught

Teaching Area

  • Portuguese as a foreign language (L3)
  • Portuguese as a second language (L2)
  • Sociolinguistics

Current Courses

  • Oral Comprehension and Production Skills II (PORT1004)
  • Advanced Oral and Production Skills II (PORT 3020)

Previous Courses

  • Introduction to Portuguese Linguistics:Grammar (PTSB314)
  • Portuguese sociolinguistics (MLLG109)
  • Special Topics in Applied Linguistics II – L1 & L2 Acquistion Processes (PTLG711)
  • Portuguese Sociolinguistics (PTLG709)
  • Advanced Comprehension and Porduction Skills II (BPTS412)
  • Writing Skills II (BPTS213)
  • Portuguese Sociolinguistics MLLG109)
  • Portuguese language for Specific Objectives I (ILPL102)
  • Portuguese language for Specific Objectives II (ILPL104)
  • Portuguese Language I (LCCL108)
  • Portuguese Language II (LCCL208)
  • Portuguese Language III (LCCL308)
  • Portuguese langauge I (BLCL108)
  • Portuguese language and Culture II (LDLP155)
  • Portuguese language and Culture II (LDLP255)
  • Portuguese language and Culture III (LDLP275)
  • Portuguese language and Culture IV (LDLP285)
  • Portuguese Langauge I (PLML001)


Mario  Pinharanda Nunes teaching experience since 1991 encompasses a great amount of L2/L3 Portuguese language teaching. He holds a BA from the Classical University of Lisbon in Modern Languages and Literature (1990), an MA (2001) and a PHD (2011) both in Linguistics from University of Macau. Prior to joining UM in 2003 he was Visiting Lecturer in Portuguese at University Malaya (1991-1997), language teacher at IPOR, Macau (1997-2000) and in charge of the Instituto Camoes Portuguese Language Centre at the Embassy of Portugal in Jakarta (2000-2003).

Besides teaching L2/L3 Portuguese, Mario has cyclically taught on the UM/FAH Master Programme in Portuguese Linguistics, specifically courses in Sociolinguistics and L1 and L2 language acquisition.


Research activities and findings

 Mario’s main field of research, has been on Portuguese lexically base creoles of Asia, more specifically on Makista (from Macau). His research on the genesis and development of this creole has lead him to expand his research interest to comparatively study patterns from decreolizing stages and interlanguage stages of L2 /L3  – specifically between Makista speakers and L1 Chinese learners of L2 / L3 Portuguese.


Professional Experience

1. Academic

  • 2003 –   Academic staff of Department of Portuguese, University of                 Macau
  • 2001 2003 Lecturer of Instituto Camões, placed as Attaché for Cultureand Language Affaires at the Embassy of Portugal in Jakarta, Indonesia
  • 1997 2001 Teacher of Portuguese as a foreign language at IPOR, Macau
  • 1991 1997 Visiting Lecturer of Portuguese as a foreign languageappointed by Instituto Camões, at University Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • 1988 1991 Teacher of English and German as foreign languages, Secondary Education, Lisbon, Portugal

2. Other 

  • 2020 –              Associate Editor for TESOL International Journal                                                            
  • 2014 – 2017     Reviews Editor Journal of Ibero-Romance Creoles                                                                      
Professional Affiliations
  • ACBLPE – Associação de Crioulos de Base Lexical Portuguesa
  • SPCL  –  Society for Pidgin and Creole Languages
  • FED – Foundation for Endangered Languages
Conference Papers and Other Presentations
  • 2019    Case marking of patient and recipient in Makista. ACBLPE &                  SPCL Joint Conference, University of Lisbon, Portugal,                          18.06.2019.
  • 2019    Makista subordinante classes: morphosyntatic variation.                       International Conference on Variation in Creole Languages,                University of Tubingen, Germany, 25.06.2019
  • 2019   The transmission of Lusophone languages and cultures: the                   role of  the Macanese diasporic community. Luso-                               American Foundation  Annual Meeting, U.C. Berkley,                         U.S.A, 23.03.2018.
  • 2017 Macau Pidgin and Creole Texts: interethnic and intra-ethnic                     contexts, “A língua companheira do império? Espaços                        formais e infor- mais da língua portuguesa (sécs XVI a                         XX). (efilp-2017)”, University University of Truscia, Italy,                      2- 3 February 2017.
  • 2016  Describing morphosyntactic variation in an acrolect creole                  corpus: the case of MakistaLDLT 5, 2 – 4 December 2016,                SOQS, University of London.
  • 2017   Perceptions of Kristang cultural agents on the benefits of                    their heritage language, at Foundation for Endangered                        Languages (FEL) XVIII, Okinawa International University, 18              – 19.9.2014.2017.
  • 2015   O uso de corpora na aula de PLE como Estratégia de                          autonomização, Teaching and learning Portuguese as a                      foreign language Conference, 8-9 Abril, University of Macau.
  • 2015    Gender and number marking in the noun phrase of Makista,              7 – 9 July, University of Graz, Austria.
  • 2015    The role of Makista comedy plays on its ‘new’ speakers:                     alternative identities and changing of linguistic norms, 31st                       July, Cambridge University. UK.
  • 2014     Challenges to the ethnolinguistic vitality among different                      Makista heritage communities, at ‘36International LAUD                      symposium’, University of Koblenz, Landau, Germany, 31.3                – 04.2014.
  • 2013    Ensino do português para fins específicos em Direito –                      análise de necessidades (Teaching of Portuguese for                          specific purposes for Law, at ‘IV SIMELP [World Symposium              of studies on the Portuguese language])’, University of São                Paulo, Brazil, 02. – 05.07.2013.
  • 2013   To preserve or not to preserve Maqkista: that is the question,             at ‘SPCL Summer Conference 2013& ACBLPE  Annual                     meeting’, University   of   Lisbon,   19  – 06.2013.
  • 2013   Makista:Past. Present and Future, at ‘WOLSEC 2013                         Symposium: Foreign language education and cross-cultural               perspective’, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, 7- 8,                       March, 2013.
  • 2013    Inflectional Morphology in Interlanguages – A Cross-                          linguistic Perspective, at ‘Crossling Symposium, 2013’,                      University of East Finland, 28.02. – 03.2013.
  • 2012    Malacca in Macau through the lexicon, at Portugal and                        Southeast Asia: 500 Years of History, University of Macau,                  30, 31.10 – 01.11.2012.


  • 2012Ensino de Português para Fins Específicos: Uma Experiência com Aprendentes de L1, L2 e LE da Licenciatura em Direito da Universidade de Macau, ‘Colóquio sobre Ensino das Línguas Chinesa e Portuguesa na China e nos Países de Língua Portuguesa’,13-17 August 2012, University of
  • 2012 Variation and Change in the Makista Verb Paradigm, International conference on ‘Languages in Contact’, Philological School of Higher Education in Wroclaw, May 26 – 27,
  • 2011 Elementos do superstrato na morfossintaxe do maquista:flexão verbal e artigos, Simpósio Mundial de Estudos da Língua Portuguesa (SIMELP) III, Universidade de Macau, 30 August – 02 September 2011, Macau SAR.
  •  2011 As funções de ta em maquista (The functions of ta in Makista), Annual meeting of Associação de Crioulos de Base Lexical Portuguesa e Espanhola, 7 – 8 July, University of Porto, Porto,
  • 2011 Kristang in makista: lexical traces of a Southeast Asian Creole in East Asia, 21st Annual Conference of the Southeast Asian Linguistics Society, May 11 – 143, 2011, Kasetsart University, Bangkok, Thailand.
  • 2011. A representação da noção de identidade nos textos em maquista do sé XIX, ‘Culturas Paralelas e Processos Transculturais: cidades portuárias / cidades interculturais’conference, 22– 24 March 2011. University of Macau.
  • 2010. O presente do Indicativo em Maquista restantes Crioulos Ibero-Asiáticos, ‘Ibero-Asian Creoles: Comparative Perspectives’ conference, 28-29 October 2010, University of Macau.
  • 2010. Verb Markings in Makista: Continuity, Discontinuity, and Accommodation, at ‘The Portuguese and Luso-Asian Legacies in Southeast Asia, 1511- 2011’ conference, 28-30 September 2010, Singapore (ISEAS) and Melaka (UiTM)
  • 2009. Variáveis linguísticas na representação formal do aspecto em maquista Linguistic variables in the formal representation of aspect in Makista), joint meeting of the Society for Pidgin and Creole Languages (SPCL) and Associação de Crioulos de Base Lexical Portuguesa (ACBLPE), 12-14 August 2009, Universität Köln, Cologne,
  • 2009. Changes in the Creole Matrix of Makista: considerations on the possible extra-linguistic factors involved, ‘First International Interdisciplinary Conference on Macau Studies’, 25 – 27 May, University of Macau.
  • 2008. já/iá pós-verbal maquista: uma consideração Preliminar (post-verbal já/iá in Makista: a preliminary study), Annual Conference of Associação de Crioulos de Base Lexical Portuguesa, 3 – 5 July 2008, Universidade Nova de Lisboa,
  • 2007. Os demonstrativos em maquista: uma análise Morfossintáctica contrastiva (The demonstrative pronouns in Makista: a contrastive analysis), annual conference of Associação de Crioulos de Base Lexical Portuguesa, 28 – 30 June 2006, Universidade de Coimbra, Portugal.
  • 2002. Os Marcadores pré-verbais no crioulo de base lexical portuguesa de Macau, annual conference of Associação de Crioulos de Base Lexical  Portuguesa, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal, June 2002 in Papia, Revista Brasileira de Estudos Crioulos e Similares, No. 14 – 2004, Universidade de Brasília.
  • 1997. The influence of Modern Portuguese Folclore on Kristang music, Westminster Creole Series, July, 1997University of Westminster, London,
  • 1996. Quand et comment les Kristang emploient encore leur créole maternel? (When and how do the Kristang use their native creole?) ‘VIIIe Colloque InternationalDes Etudes Creoles – Le métissage des langues et des représentations’, 5 – 10 May 1996, Pointe-à- Pitre, Guadaloupe.
  • 1996. Reflections on how to promote spoken Kristang and the Malacca-Portuguese heritage in Malaysia, conference ‘Revival of Spoken Kristang and the Development of the Malacca-Portuguese Heritage’, 06– 07 January 1996, Straits Heritage Lodge, Malacca.
  • 1994. Concepção de Tempo e Espaço no Kristang e no Malaio (The concept of time and space in Kristang and in Malay), ‘Colóquio sobre Crioulos de Base Portuguesa e Espanhola’, 3 – 6 September, Brasília, Brazil
Selected Publications

Books (editor / co-author)

  • Hugo Cardoso, Alan Baxter, Mário Pinharanda (Editors) Ibero-Asian Creoles: Comparative Perspectives, Library of Creole Languages, 2012, Special Issue series, John Benjamins Publishers.
  • Choi, Kim Yok et al. (1999) Multilingual Idioms. Kuala Lumpur: Fakulti Bahasa dan Linguistik, Universiti Malaya. ISBN:9679786714

Journal Volume (editor)

  • Documentation and Maintainance of Contact Languages from South Asia to East Asia, Mario Pinharanda Nunes and Hugo C. Cardoso (Editors), 2020,  Language Documentation and Conservation Special Volume 19, University of Hawaii Press.

Book Chapters (blind-peer reviewed)

  • Martins, Custódio and Pinharanda-Nunes, Mário (2020) “The Lexical        aspect hypothesis: Off-line evidence from Chinese learners of               European Portuguese as an L2”, in Karina Veronica Molsing,                 Cristina Becker Lopes Perna and Ana Maria Tramunt Ibaños                 (eds.) Linguistic Approaches to Portuguese as an Additional                 Language,  p109-148, Issues in Hispanic and Lusophone                        Linguistics, 24. John Benjamins Publishing Company.
  • Pinharanda Nunes, Mario (2019) “Logo in Makista: irrealis and                    beyond”, in Tjerk Hagemeijer, Ciara Truppi, Fernanda                            Pratas, Hugo C. Cardoso, Nélia Alexandre (eds.) Lives                           in Contact. A Tribute to Nine Fellow Creolinguists. p424- 444.               Lisboa: Edicoes Colibri.

In this article, we revist earlier descriptions of the form ‘logo’ in Makista, confronting those descriptions with new evidence from a broader semantic and functional scope, which may be understood as reflecting the specificities of the creole’s continuum itself.

  • Martins, Custódio & Pinharanda Nunes, Mário (2014) “Inflectional          Morphology in Interlanguages: Evidence from Decreolization and          Second Language Acquisition”, in Heli   Paulasto, Lea Merilainen,         Helka Riionhemo, Maria Kok  (ed.) Language Contacts at the               Crossroads of Disciplines,  59-88. Newcastle upon Tyne:                        Cambridge Scholars  Publishing

This chapter sheds new light on the process of the acquisition of inflectional morphology in L2 & L3 Portuguese according to the LAH and how  formal acquisition context shows partially overlapping features with cases of informal SLA in decreolizing speakers of a Portuguese-based creole.


  • Pinharanda Nunes, Mário. (2013) Socio-historical Factors involved in Changes on The Creole Matrix of Makista”, in George Wei and Katrine K. Wong (eds.) Macau— Cultural interaction and literary representation, 25-41. Routledge: Oxford.

The motivation for this chapter was to exemplify contact induced change in the creole matrix of Makista and cross analyse it with historical data on the increase of contact between the creole speaking community and the standard Portguese speakers in Macau


  • Pinharanda Nunes, Mário. (2012) “Traces of superstrate verb inflection in Makista and other Asian-Portuguese creoles”, in Alan Baxter, Hugo Cardoso, Mario Pinharanda Nunes (eds.) Ibero-Asian Creoles: Comparative Perspectives. Creole Language Library, 46: 291-326. John Benjamins Publishing Company:Amsterdam, Philedelphia.

The chapter is a novel look at the verb Paradigm in Makista, documenting verb inflection in the speech of its last acrolectal L1 speakers. It suggests the entrance point of decreolization in the verb phrase, based on diachronic evidence, and differentiates the reason for standard verb morphology in this creole from that found in some Indo-Portuguese creoles.


  • Pinharanda-Nunes, Mário (2012) “Verb Markings in Makista: continuity / discontinuity and accommodation” in Laura Jarnagin (ed.) Portuguese and Luso- Asian Legacies in Southeast Asia, 1511–2011, Volume 2: Culture and Identity in the Luso-Asian World: Tenacities and Plasticities, 167-178. ISEAS, Singapore.

In line with the article of 2004, this one looks closer and exclusively at the marker of perfectivity, considering its grammaticalization – degrammaticalization path in Makista

Articles (Peer reviewed)


  • Pinharanda Nunes, Mário. (2012) “Herança cultural e linguística dos macaenses: considerações em torno das suas origens, evolução e continuidade” (The Cultural and Linguistic Heritage of the Macanese: considerations concerning their origins, evolution and continuity), in Revista Fragmentum, Universidade Federal de Santa Maria, Brasil (ISSN 1519-9894), 35: 16-25.
  • Pinharanda Nunes, Mário. (2008) “Os demonstrativos em maquista: uma análise morfossintáctica contrastiva”, in Papia, Revista Brasileira de Estudos Crioulos e Similares, No. 18 -2008,pp. 07 – 22, Thesaurus Editora / Universidade de Brasília.

This article is a pioneering description of the demonstrative pronouns in Makista in that it takes on a comparative perspective between that grammatical category in this creole and its possible substrate and adstrate languages, The main finding is the possible role of Hokkien in the formation of that category in Makista, distancing it from the same group of items in other Portuguese-based Asian creoles, and stressing the need for more research on contributing languages to this creole.


  • Pinharanda Nunes, Mário. and Baxter, N. (2004) Os Marcadores pré- verbais no crioulo de base lexical portuguesa de Macau”, in Papia, Revista Brasileira de Estudos Crioulos e Similares, Universidade de Brasília, 14: 31 – 46.

This article was the first clear academic reference on the aspectual value of the Makista verb markers, contrary to the earlier classifications as tense markers. My role was as first (main) author.

  • Nunes, Mário. (2001) “Portuguese Folklore Sung by Malaccan Kristang Groups and the Issue of Decreolization”, in Jurnal Bahasa Moden, vol 13, pp149 – 162, Fakulti bahasa dan Linguistik, Universiti Malaya.
  • Nunes, Mario. 1999. “The use of Kristang in the Portuguese Settlement of Malacca”. Journal of Modern Languages (Universiti Malaya) 12:147-158.
  • Pinharanda Nunes, Mário. (1994) “Concepção de Tempo e Espaço no Kristang e no Malaio” (The notion of  Time and  Space in  Kristang and in Malay), in Papia, Revista Brasileira de Estudos Crioulos e Similares, Thesaurus Editora / Universidade de Brasília, 2:Vol.3.116 – 126.

The article calls the attention to congruence factors between tense and space reference between Kristang and Malay. It is an early sign of my stress on the need to break away from previous Portuguese linguistic tradition of exclusively looking at the Portuguese-based creoles of Asia from the lexifier’s perspective, and look rather into the substrate and adstrate’s possible contributions. This would later be developed in my 2004 and 2008 articles and my PHD thesis.


ARTICLES (non-peer reviewed)

  • Moutinho, R. Martins, C. Nunes, M. P. (2013), “O Ensino do Português para Fins Jurídicos Macau (Teaching of Portuguese for specific purposes     for Law), in Revista SIPLE, No. 2. Editora UnB – Universidae de Brasília:http// www.siple. &id=174:o-ensino-do-portugues-para-fins-juridicos-em-acau&catid=57:edicao- 2&Itemid=92.
  • Nunes, Mário. (2001) “Portuguese Folklore Sung by Malaccan Kristang Groups and the Issue of Decreolization”, in Jurnal Bahasa Moden, Fakulti bahasa dan Linguistik, Universiti Malaya, 13:149 –


Paper in Conference Proceedings

  •  Pinharanda-Nunes, Mário and Lee, Eileen (2014) “Kristang and                             Tourism”, inFEL XVIII, Indigenous  Languages: Value                         to the Community, Okinawa International University,                           pp.120- 125.
  • Martins, Custódio and Pinharanda Nunes, Mário (2013) “Cross-                           Linguistic influence;Variation;   Portuguese as L3; L3 to                       L2 Transfer: Language learner corpus”, in Learner                              Corpus Studies in Asia and the World (LCSAW) 2013,                         School of Languages and Communication, Kobe                                 University, pp. 271 – 283.
  • Pinharanda-Nunes, M. (2013) “Makista: Past, Present and Future”,                       International Symposium Report 2013,WoLSEC  2013,                       Foreign Language Education and Cross-Cultural                                 Perspectives, World Language and Society Education                         Centre (WoLSEC), Tokyo University of  Foreign                                   Studies, pp.199 – 212.