August 19, 2022

The Catalan people are a European Pyrenean and Mediterranean people that have their roots in the eastern Pyrenees and adjacent territories. Historically, Catalan-speaking individuals who, generally, are originally from one of the territories now called Països Catalans, are considered to be Catalans. From the 15th century, the use of the gentilici de Valencia became widespread, both for the language and for the inhabitants of the Valencian Country, and much later the gentilici de Mallorcan for the natives of Mallorca, thus losing the unity of the gentilici Catalan and the consciousness of collectivity, especially after the War of Succession. At the beginning of the 20th century, the Catalanist movement advocated the recovery of the generalization of the common Catalan gentilici, despite the regionalization of the gentilici in the Principality and the reluctance that arose in wide sectors of the Balearic Islands and the Valencian Country. Academically, the controversy over the name of the common language and literature (Catalan) was overcome, while in the political sphere certain sectors try (especially since the democratic transition) to promote disintegration. However, according to the Dictionary of the Catalan Language of the Institut d'Estudis Catalans, Catalan is the natural person of the Catalan Countries. However, the political status of Catalans is only officially recognized in two territories: In Catalonia: Article 7: Gaudeixen de la condició política de catalans o ciutadans de Catalunya els ciutadans espanyols que tenen veïnatge administratiu a Catalunya. Their political rights are exercised in accordance with this Statute and the laws, as well as those who emigrate and their descendants. The Catalan nobility is also recognized in Northern Catalonia.


The word Catalan/-ana is the gentilici of Catalonia. Its etymology is uncertain and open to interpretation. The most accepted theory is that it refers to the term Castlà or Catlà, a word that would be related to the governor of a castle, in French chastelain and châtelain, in Occitan chastelan or castelan (and according to some southern dialects, pronounced "castelà"), in Castilian Spanish. With the addition of the suffix -ia, it would give rise to the Latin forms of Catalonia and Catalaunia, which would mean land of castles. According to this theory, the Spanish term would be homologous. Another theory suggests that Catalonia comes from "Gotholàndia" that is to say the land of the Goths; in fact, the Franks often referred to the Catalan territory (or even the Iberian Peninsula) as Gothia. Other theories suggest that it comes from a mythical German prince, Otger Cataló, or from the word Laketani, a tribe that inhabited the lands of what are now Vallès and Barcelonès, and that, due to Italian influence, evolved into Katelans and from there into Catalans .The first documentary reference to the term Catalonia appears in the Liber Maiolichinus de Gestis Pisanorum Illustribus, a Latin epic that narrates the Pisano-Catalan Crusade of the year 1113-1114 against Madina Mayurqa led by the archbishop of Nice Pere II and the count Ramon Berenguer III of Barcelona. This work was written between 1115 and 1120 and refers to the Count of Barcelona as "Dux Catalanensis", to his territory as "Catalania", and to his men as "Catalanenses". Despite the various studies, the etymology of the word "Catalan" and "Catalunya" is still unknown, and it is also not understood because it appears first in a Pisan document and not in the Catalan documentation itself. According to a survey carried out in June 2022 by the pollster "Enquestes de Catalunya: #CatalunyaElects" 60.7% of the citizens of Catalonia identify nationally as Catalan.


When defining the Catalans, like any human group, it is necessary to distinguish between several meanings