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In the eastern peninsula of the island of Sulawesi, Indonesia, the fifteenth edition of the Ethnologue (Gordon 2005) lists two Saluan languages: Coastal Saluan and Kahumamahon Saluan. Based on a survey of the Saluan area conducted in July, 2006, we conclude that this division is unjustified—only one Saluan language need be recognized, though with various dialects as we explore in this paper. Our conclusions are based on a consideration of lexical similarity (lexicostatistics), historical sound change, and informal sociolinguistic interviews.
During the course of this survey, we also collected information on the small Batui lect, also known in the literature as Baha, and previously classified as a dialect of Pamona. In actuality Batui is a language closely related to Saluan.
With the merger of Coastal and Kahumamahon Saluan as a single language and the recognition of Batui as a separate language, the total number of recognized languages in the Saluan-Banggai microgroup remains at six languages. An appendix presents eleven wordlists from Saluan and one from Batui.