Research at the Archive

California Native American Languages


The languages known from the central California Missions (Carmel, San Juan Bautista, Soledad, San Antonio de Padua, San Miguel, and San Luis Obispo) include:

Rumsen (Costanoan/Ohlonean, Carmel)

Esselen (Carmel and Soledad, and the territory inbetween) 

Mutsun(Costanoan/Ohlonean, San Juan Bautista) 

Chalon (Costanoan/Ohlonean, Soledad)

Salinan (San Antonio, San Miguel) 

ObispeÔo Chumash (Chumashan family).


Esselen and Salinan are language isolates, which means they are each a language family of one. Three of the languages (Rumsen, Mutsun, Chalon) belong the the Costanoan (or Ohlonean) subfamily of the Utian language family (the other subfamily includes the Miwok langauges). ObispeÔo is the most divergent member of the Chumashan family.


Future additions will include the following projects:

· “Mutsun Texts:’

· “Mutsun Glossary”;

· “Salinan Grammar”;

· “Salinan Texts”;

· “Salinan Glossary”


It is hoped that the Santa Barbara Mission Archive and Libary’s mission will be fulfilled in a new dimension by having this essential information about the central missions available free of charge to interested parties as searchable downloads.


Indigenous Languages of California (links coming soon!)

Esselen Texts and Glossary 
The Huelel 
Esselen Noun Thematic Suffixes 


Chalon Texts 


California Linguistic Prehistory
Rumsen Grammatical 
Esselen Utain Onomastics 
Esselen Linguistic Prehistory 



SBMAL will be closed November 23-25 for the holiday. Please email with any questions or concerns. We hope you have a wonderful holiday!