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Palauan Adjectives

The following is a brief discussion about Palauan adjectives. For a longer exploration, please refer to discussions of state verbs in the Joseph Handbooks. According to the official Lewis Joseph grammar book of Palauan, there are no Palauan parts of speech called adjectives. However, Palauan does, of course, have words used to describe other words. In English, we call these words adjectives. Examples of English adjectives are dangerous, beautiful, and hot.

Palauan Resulting State Verbs

In Palauan, words corresponding to English adjectives are called state verbs. There are several types of Palauan state verbs. The most common are resulting state verbs which occur as a result of a verb. Some examples:

Here is a list of seven random Palauan verbs and their resulting state verbs:

chelemcham, v.r.s.broken into pieces.
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delerrubek, v.r.s.thrust at with spear.
delerrubek a mla mederubek; babii a delerrubek er a biskang; rrumes er a biskang, derrubek, durebekii a delel.
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kilngar, v.r.s.sat upon.
kilngar a koingar; kiliei er a bebul.
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llik, v.r.s.(bottom of pot, basket) lined with leaves.
llik a ngar er ngii a lkil; mla melik; likir a chelais, lmik a blil a kall.
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uldai, v.r.s.pulled in.
uldai a mla mudai; mla mekurs er a udai, mla motamet; bilas a mla mudai el mei er a cheldukl; udiil.
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ultebechel, v.r.s.held steady; controlled; confirmed; moored; (person) certain or sure to; (person) serious or responsible.
ultebechel a mla mutebechel; ulterekokl; diak el beot el mesim; mtebechelii a taem, mtebechel a tekoi, utebechelel.
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uluit, v.r.s.boiled several times.
uluit a mla obuit; brak el meketeket el ngar a ngeliokl a uluit; omuit a brak.
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Palauan Anticipating State Verbs

Anticipating state verbs in Palauan are like resulting state verbs. However, instead of describing the state of something after a verb has modified it, these describe the state of something before a verb is anticipated to modify it. Here's seven random Anticipating State Verbs:

chedongall, v.a.s.is to be blessed or sanctified.
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ksekikl, v.a.s.(tapioca) is to be grated; (tapioca) requires grating before boiling.
ksekikl a cherduch el diokang el di kirelel meksous; diak el chedelumel.
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ngerodel, v.a.s.is to be hoisted.
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ochebecheball, v.a.s.is to be put upside down; is to be turned face down.
ochebecheball a kirel el mochebecheb; omechebecheb er a dengarech; mechebecheb a olekang; ochebechebel a olekang.
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oterebekall, v.a.s.is to be raped.
oterebekall a kirel el moterebek; mekull ng diak el oterebekall a rechad; oterebekii, oterebekel.
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tingetall, v.a.s.is to be plugged up.
tingetall a dengobel; kirel el metinget; tingetii, tminget a butiliang.
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utebengall, v.a.s.is to be fixed or focused upon.
utebengall a kirel el mutab; kirel el mo medengelii; mtab a meldung, mtebengii a rael; remenges e nguelem a tekoi; utebengel.
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State Verbs with Related Nouns

In English, a common thing to do is to ask 'how XXXX is something,' where XXXX is an adjective. For example, 'how hot is that,' or 'how dangerous is that,' are common English expressions.

This is true in Palauan as well in a form like, 'ng uangarang a kleldelel,' which translates literally perhaps to something like, 'it is like what, its heat,' or figuratively as, 'how hot is it.' The word kleldelel is a possessed noun meaning 'its heat.' See the nouns page for a longer explanation of possessed nouns.

Many of these Palauan nouns have related state verbs which translate to, and are used as, English adjectives. Here is a list of seven random Palauan nouns along with their corresponding state verbs.

Palauan_NounEngish_NounPalauan_AdjEnglish_Adj
kekeuathlete's foot; tinea.kekeuhaving athlete's foot.
kikoisea clam.merikikoiwavy; bulging in places.
chiukl(singing) voice.cheiukl(person) having a good singing voice.
secheleifriend; companion; boyfriend; girlfriend; lover; term of address from a woman to a group of people.bekesecheleifriendly; having many friends.
martilionghammer.martiliongclumsy; ungraceful; untalented; (person) blunt or hard-hitting (in his words).
brotechclapping; wooden paddle used as war weapon; applause; praise.bekebrotechprone to slapping.
chadliver.chedengaolhave a large liver.

Reng Idioms as Adjectives

There are many Palauan expressions which use a state verb to describe the Palauan word reng which means spirit or heart. These are idioms which mean their literal and figurative meanings are not the same. Typically, but not always, the figurative meaning describes an emotion. An example is kesib a reng, which literally means a sweaty heart but figuratively it means to be angry. Here is a list of seven random examples of these reng idioms:

PalauanEnglish
mellomes a rengulsmart; diligent.
ralmetaoch a rengulinsensitive; not easily affected; easygoing; casual; prone to avoiding responsibility.
melechang a llechul a rengulteach (someone) a lesson.
ilkelkel a rengulhis stupidity.
milkolk a rengul(person is) stupid.
omtechei a rengulget back at; do to someone as he does to you.
sengok a rengulcurious.

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