Dongolawi is a Nubian language of northern Sudan. It is spoken in the Nile Valley, from roughly the 3rd cataract (south of Kerma) upstream to the bend in the Nile near ed Debba. With population displacement due to the Aswan High Dam there are communities of speakers in eastern Sudan (Khashm el Girba).
Dongolawi is an Arabic term based on the town of Old Dongola, the centre of the historic Christian kingdom of Makuria (6th to 14th century). Today’s Dongola was founded during the 19th century on the western side of the Nile. The Dongolawi call their language Andaandi [andaːndi] "(the language) of our home".
Nearly all Dongolawi speakers are also speakers of Sudanese Arabic, the lingua franca of Sudan. Arabic–Dongolawi bilingualism is replacive in the sense that Dongolawi is threatened by complete replacement by Arabic (Jakobi 2008).
Dongolawi is closely related to Kenzi (Mattokki), spoken in southern Egypt. They were once considered dialects of a single language, Kenzi-Dongolawi. More recent research recognises them as distinct languages without a "particularly close genetic relationship." Apart from these two languages spoken along the Nile, three extinct varieties were included under Kenzi-Dongolawi.
- Dongolawi at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
- Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Dongola". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
- Bechhaus-Gerst, Marianne. The (Hi)story of Nobiin — 1000 Years of Language Change. Peter Lang, 2011, p. 22.
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