The language is notable for its retroflex consonants (Aklilu Yilma 1988), a striking feature shared with closely related Dizi and nearby (but not closely related) Bench (Breeze 1988). The Ethnologue lists the following linguistic features: "SOV; postpositions; genitives, articles, adjectives, numerals, relatives after noun heads; question word initial; 1 prefix, 5 suffixes; word order distinguishes subjects, objects, indirect objects; affixes indicate case of noun phrases; verb affixes mark person, number, gender of subject; passives, causatives, comparatives; CV, CVC, CVV, CV:C, CVCC; tonal, 3 tones."
Sheko, together with the Dizi and Nayi languages, is part of a cluster of languages variously called "Maji" or "Dizoid".
Breeze, Mary. 1988. "Phonological features of Gimira and Dizi." In Marianne Bechhaus-Gerst and Fritz Serzisko (eds.), Cushitic – Omotic: papers from the International Symposium on Cushitic and Omotic languages, Cologne, January 6–9, 1986, 473–487. Hamburg: Helmut Buske Verlag.
Hellenthal, Anneke Christine. 2010. A grammar of Sheko. Utrecht: Landelijke Onderzoekschool Taalwetenschap.