Endangered Language Alliance
Masalit is a Nilo-Saharan language of the Maban branch, most closely related to the highly endangered Massalat language of Chad, but also to several other languages spoken in Chad. Three Masalit dialects have generally been identified: northern (north and east of Geneina in West Darfur), western (around Ouaddaï, Chad), and southern (south of Geneina). In addition, the academic literature on Masalit identifies “heavy” and “light” sociolects. The former features complex agglutinative morphology and is more likely to be spoken in rural areas and by those of higher rank, while the latter shows more influence from Sudanese Arabic.