Tāłtān Online Dictionary Glossary


A word that always appears with nouns in natural speech and indicates which noun the speaker might be talking about. They correspond to “this,” “that,” “these,” and “those” in English.

idomatic expression

A word, short phrase, or sentence that expresses an idea or feeling that cannot be interpreted by the meanings of the individual words in the phrase. For example, “Esdze k'as̱dene dudes̱dah.” means something like, “It was love at first sight.” However, the literal meaning is “My heart almost stopped.”


A single word (or sound) that speakers use to express a strong or sudden emotion.

inalienable noun

A noun that can't be separated from its possessor in natural speech. These are usually body parts and words for family members. In this dictionary, inalienable nouns are represented with a “-” before them in order to show that the word isn’t complete until the possessor is added before it.

noun phrase

A noun and a modifier (like a demonstrative, an adjective, or another noun) that describes or gives more information about that noun. For example, “łuwe dā” meaning “fish eyes”.

nominalized verb

A verb that is grammatically treated like a noun. For example, “chines̱īdeł” which literally translates to and can be used as a verb to mean “we gather” or “we are gathering”, but can also be used as a noun to refer to “a gathering”.

nominalized verb phrase

A verb and a modifier (like an adverb) that is grammatically treated like a noun. For example, “s̱a’e kohōdih” which literally translates to something like “it was known a long time ago” but can be used as a noun meaning “history”.

phrasal noun

A complete sentence that is grammatically and semantically treated like a noun. These are usually very descriptive in nature. For example, “dene mek’eh s̱etīn” or “dene mekāge s̱etīn” which literally translates to “a person sleeps on it,” but are understood to indicate the noun, “bed”, and is treated like a noun in larger sentences.


A functional word that appears after the nouns and pronouns it modifies in order to express that word’s relationship to another word in the sentence. These correspond to “at,” “for,” “by,” “in,” “to,” “about,” “over,” “on,” “with,” “away from,” “like,” “around,” “after,” “ahead of,” etc… in English.

postpositional phrase

A postposition with the word (or words) it modifies. For example, “gat tah” meaning “amongst the trees”.

relational noun

A noun that is used to indicate a physical part of something larger. For example, “summit” or “base” in English.

verb phrase

A verb and a modifier (like an adverb) that tells us more information about the quality or manner of the action (e.g., “edū eneslīn” meaning “I don’t want” or “k’adle dinda” meaning “you’re walking quickly”).

{ }

Curly brackets are used in this dictionary as a placeholder for a required word that fits the criteria inside them. In natural speech, the headword will not make sense unless the {} is replaced with something.


The O here stands for “Object” which is the grammatical term for something that is acted upon or affected by a verb or a postposition. This O is in curly brackets, so it is required by the entry’s headword in order to be used correctly. You’ll see this most often with verbs that do not make sense in natural speech without an object.