Navigating Linguistic Boundaries in Mozambican Literature: Translanguaging and Identity Formation in the Works of Paulina Chiziane

Meng Guo, Lili Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Translanguaging, a dynamic process involving the creative blending of languages, varieties, registers, and diverse semiotic modalities in communication, has increasingly gained attention in the study of multilingualism and identity. This article examines the role of translanguaging in the expression of identity within the works of Mozambican author Paulina Chiziane, winner of the most prestigious Portuguese literature award in 2021. By analyzing 15 instances of translanguaging across five of her novels, this research seeks to contribute to the enrichment of translanguaging conceptualization within the post-colonial context that pervades the African continent. Moreover, it highlights the importance of engaging with linguistic diversity and the role of authors in shaping the understanding of complex cultural and national identities in contemporary literature. The findings reveal that Chiziane’s use of translanguaging effectively communicates her identity as a woman, a Mozambican, a plurilingual individual, and a member of post-colonial society. Moreover, this study demonstrates that translanguaging is a common feature in Mozambican literature and contributes to the construction of a distinct Mozambican identity, or Mozambican-ness. As one of the first investigations into translanguaging phenomena in Chiziane’s novels and within the broader context of postcolonial literature, this article provides a novel angle for exploring Mozambican literary works and advances the theory of translanguaging by highlighting its relationship with identity expression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-84
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Language Teaching and Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024


  • Mozambican-ness
  • Paulina Chiziane
  • cultural identity
  • post-colonial Mozambican literature
  • translanguaging


Dive into the research topics of 'Navigating Linguistic Boundaries in Mozambican Literature: Translanguaging and Identity Formation in the Works of Paulina Chiziane'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this