|Native to||United States|
|Region||central coast California|
The language is attested to some extent in colonial sources such as Sitjar (1860), but the principal published documentation is Mason (1918). The main modern grammatical study, based on Mason's data and on the field notes of John Peabody Harrington and William H. Jacobsen, is Turner (1987), which also contains a complete bibliography of the primary sources and discussion of their orthography.
Two dialects are recognized, Antoniaño and Migueleño, associated with the missions of San Antonio and San Miguel, respectively. Antoniaño is "sometimes also termed Sextapay, associated with the area of the Franciscan Mission of San Antonio de Padua in Monterey County." There may have been a third, Playano dialect, as suggested by mention of such a subdivision of the people, but nothing is known of them linguistically.
Salinan may be a part of the hypothetical Hokan family. Edward Sapir included it in a subfamily of Hokan, along with Chumash and Seri. This classification has found its way into more recent encyclopedias and presentations of language families, but serious supporting evidence for this subfamily has never been presented.
The charts of consonants and vowels in the Salinan language based on J.P. Harrington's notes: