The Saclan language was spoken — from what little is known about it — east of the hills in the east San Francisco Bay. The language is only attested in a single vocabulary recorded by Father Felipe Arroyo de la Cuesta in 1821. In pre-contact times, there were an estimated 19,500 speakers of Plains Miwok, Saclan, and Central, Northern, and Southern Sierra Miwok together (Levy 1978).
Saclan (also called "Bay Miwok") is a Miwokan language; the others members of this family are Central Sierra Miwok, Lake Miwok, Northern Sierra Miwok, Plains Miwok, Saclan, and Southern Sierra Miwok. The Miwokan languages comprise one branch of the hypothesized Penutian language family, within which they form a subgroup with the Ohlone languages (Awaswas, Chalon, Chochenyo, Karkin, Mutsun, Ramaytush, Rumsen, and Tamyen). Penutian includes, in addition, Klamath-Modoc, the Maiduan languages (Konkow, Maidu, and Nisenan), the Wintuan languages (Nomlaki, Patwin, and Wintu), and the Yokuts languages.
Selected archival materials at Berkeley
- Beeler, Madison S. 1955. Saclan. International Journal of American Linguistics 21:201-210.
- Beeler, Madison S. 1959. Saclan once more. International Journal of American Linguistics 25:67-68.
- Callaghan, Catherine A. 1971. Saclan: A re-examination. Anthropological Linguistics 13:448-456.