|This article does not cite any references or sources. (October 2007)|
|est. 18,000,000~22,000,000|
|Regions with significant populations|
|Hispanic America: est. 2,000,000|
|Roman Catholicism, Atheism, Agnosticism|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Leonese, other Spanish peoples, Portuguese|
The Castilian people (Spanish: castellanos) are the inhabitants of Castile-La Mancha, Madrid, Castile and León, Cantabria, and La Rioja (corresponding with the historic region of Castile), and the Canary Islands who are the source of the Spanish language among other aspects of cultural identity.
Through the Reconquista and other conquests in the Middle Ages, the Kingdom of Castile (later Crown of Castile) spread over a large part of the Iberian Peninsula, especially towards the southern Spanish regions. After this, since the 15th century, through the Spanish colonization of the Americas, the Castilians also spread over the New World, bringing with them not only their language, but also elements of their culture and traditions.
Castilian (castellano) is the native language of the Castilians. Its origin is conventionally ascribed to the Burgos region, around the 8th and 9th centuries. It is descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire. During the Reconquista in the Middle Ages, it was brought to the south of Spain where it replaced the languages that were spoken in the former Moorish controlled zones, such as the local form of related Latin dialects now referred to as Mozarabic, and the Arabic that had been introduced by the Muslims. In this process Castilian absorbed many traits from these languages, some of which continue to be used today. Outside of Spain, Castilian is now usually referred to as Spanish.
Castilian (or Spanish) is the dominant language in Spain, and therefore was the language that was transmitted to the New World by the Conquistadores during the Spanish colonization of the Americas. Due to this gradual process, the Hispanophone world was created. As Castilian was the language of the Crown, it became the official language of all Spain, used side by side with other languages in their regions for centuries. During the years of the Franco dictatorship (1939 to 1975) there was an attempt to suppress the regional languages in favour of Castilian as the sole official language, causing a backlash against the use of Castilian in some regions after his death.
In Spanish, the word castellano (Castilian) is often used to refer to the Spanish language, alongside español (Spanish). See Names given to the Spanish language.
The majority of Castilians are Roman Catholic.
- Castilian Spanish
- Castile (historical region)
- Castile and León
- Castile-La Mancha
- Crown of Castile
- Kingdom of Castile
- Kingdom of León