The Arabic dialectology literature repeatedly asserts the existence of a macro-level classificatory relationship binding the Arabic speech varieties of the combined Egypto-Sudanic area. This proposal, though oft-encountered, has not previously been formulated in reference to extensive linguistic criteria, but is instead framed primarily on the nonlinguistic premise of historical demographic and genealogical relationships joining the Arabic-speaking communities of the region. The present contribution provides a linguistically based evaluation of this proposed dialectal grouping, to assess whether the postulated dialectal unity is meaningfully borne out by available language data. Isoglosses from the domains of segmental phonology, phonological processes, pronominal morphology, verbal inflection, and syntax are analyzed across six dialects representing Arabic speech in the region. These are shown to offer minimal support for a unified Egypto-Sudanic dialect classification, but instead to indicate a significant north–south differentiation within the sample—a finding further qualified via application of the novel method of Historical Glottometry developed by François and Kalyan. The investigation concludes with reflection on the implications of these results on the understandings of the correspondence between linguistic and human genealogical relationships in the history of Arabic and in dialectological practice more broadly.
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