Saluan encompasses most of Sulawesi’s eastern peninsula between the Pamona language area to its west and the Balantak language area to its east.
Saluan comprises three dialects (Mead and Pasanda To Appear):
- the Boalemo dialect (also spoken in the districts of Pagimana and Kintom), representing that of the former Saluan rulers
- the Luwuk dialect spoken in the southeast of the Saluan area
- the Loinang dialect spoken in the northwest of the Saluan area.
Loinang in turn is a cover term for three different groups or clans (Lingketeng, Baloa' and Kohumama'on), speaking slightly different varieties, who formerly lived in the interior but who have now mostly resettled in locations on or near the coast.
Recent estimates of the number of Saluan speakers have ranged from 77,000 (Suryadinata, Arifin and Ananta 2003:8) to 120,000 (Gema Kasih Bagi Saluan 2002).
Gema kasih bagi Saluan. 2002. Warta Sumber Hidup, August 2002. Lembaga Alkitab Indonesia. [Archived online. URL: http://www.alkitab.or.id/wsh/augus02/Gema%20Kasih%20Untuk%20Saluan.htm (accessed March 26, 2012).]
Mead, David; and Edy Pasanda. To appear. An initial appreciation of the dialect situation in Saluan and Batui (eastern Sulawesi, Indonesia). SIL Electronic Survey Reports.
Suryadinata, Leo; Evi Nurvidya Arifin, and Aris Ananta. 2003. Indonesia’s population: Ethnicity and religion in a changing political landscape. (Indonesia’s Population Series, 1.) Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.