Dahalo is an endangered South Cushitic language spoken by at most 400 people on the Kenyan coast near the mouth of the Tana River. The Dahalo are dispersed among Swahili and other Bantu peoples, with no villages of their own, and are bilingual in those languages. It may be that children are no longer learning the language. 
In addition, Dahalo makes a number of uncommon distinctions. It contrasts laminal and apical stops, as in Basque and languages of Australia and California; epiglottal and glottal stops and fricatives, as in the Mideast, the Caucasus, and the American Pacific Northwest; and is perhaps the only language in the world to contrast alveolar and palatal lateral fricatives and affricates.
It is suspected that the Dahalo may have once spoken a Sandawe- or Hadza-like language, and that they retained clicks in some words when they shifted to Cushitic, because many of the words with clicks are basic vocabulary. If so, the clicks represent a substratum.
Dahalo has 62 consonants:
The prenasalized voiceless stops have been analysed as syllabic nasals plus stops by some researchers. However, one would expect this additional syllable to give Dahalo words additional tonic possibilities, as Dahalo pitch accent is syllable-dependent (see below), and Ladefoged reports that this does not seem to be the case.
When geminate, the epiglottals are a voiceless stop and fricative. (Thus is not pharyngeal as sometimes reported, since pharyngeal stops are not believed to be possible.) In utterance-initial position they may be a partially voiced (negative voice onset time) stop and fricative. However, as singletons between vowels, is a flap or even an approximant with weak voicing, while is a fully voiced approximant. Other obstruents are similarly affected intervocalically, though not to the same degree.
are often fricative between vowels. (The retraction diacritic in serves merely to emphasize that it is further back than . Initially, they and are often voiceless, whereas are fortis (perhaps aspirated). Tosco reports a voiced lateral . has little rounding. /j/ is only attested in a single root, 'mother'.
Voicing is not contrastive in clicks; and are in free variation. Clicks have varying amounts of voicing, but most often tend to be voiceless rather than voiced.
Dahalo has 10 vowels:
|High||i / iː||u / uː|
|Mid||e / eː||o / oː|
|Low||a / aː|
Dahalo has both long and short vowels.
Dahalo words are commonly 2-4 syllables long. Syllables are exclusively of the CV pattern, except that consonants may be geminate between vowels. As with many other Afro-Asiatic languages, gemination is grammatically productive. Voiced consonants partially devoice, and prenasalized stops denasalize when geminated as part of a grammitical function. However, lexical prenasalised geminate stops also occur.
(It is likely that the glottals and clicks do not occur as geminates, although only a few words with intervocalic clicks are known, such as .)
Dahalo has pitch accent, normally with zero to one high-pitched syllables (rarely more) per root word. If there is a high pitch, it is most frequently on the first syllable; in the case of disyllabic words, this is the only possibility: e.g. head, pierce.