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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:

bellutel, v.r.s.(clothes) turned inside out.
bellutel a ulechero; blult, meltii, mult, bellutel a bilel, beltel.
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blidokl, v.r.s.cast or tossed (e.g. fishnet); thrown underhand (as in softball); thrown out(side); located far from others (as if tossed away).
blidokl a mla obidokl; blides, mideklii, midokl, bideklel.
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cheleokl, v.r.s.having something stuck in throat; (machine) broken.
cheleokl a mla mecheokl; merekeklii a tungd, ngar er ngii a tungd er a omerkolel; cheleokl a telemall el mesil; bilas a cheleokl.
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chelituuk, v.r.s.repaired; arranged; fixed; adjusted.
chelituuk a ouedikel a le mechiuaiu. chelituuk a mengituuk; osiik a rolel; mengedechuul, choitukii a mesil el mo ungil, choituuk, chitukel a mechut el mlai.
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nglemachel, v.r.s.in a state of having chewed betel.
nglemachel a melamech; diak a buuch me ng diak de nglemachel.
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selaod, v.r.s.separated; explained.
selaod a lloched; mla mesaod; diak el uldak; chebechiil a selaod; rengalek me te selaod, smodii, sodel.
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selongd, v.r.s.combed; (chain, cord, etc.) broken.
selongd a mla mesongd; songdii; smongd; bdelul a ungil el selongd, sengdel.
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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:

beremall, v.a.s.(fish) is to be allowed to spoil slightly before wrapping and barbequeing.
beremall a kirel el mukberaom, mo beraom; beremel el ngikel.
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bredechall, v.a.s.is to be buttoned or inlaid.
bredechall a kirel el obrodech, merdechii, mrodech, kirel el murodech a bail.
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chedelekelekall, v.a.s.is to be blackened.
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chemull, v.a.s.(fire) is to be started up or kindled.
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okedall, v.a.s.is to be brought near.
okedall a kirel el mokeed; olekeed; okedii a ocheraol, okeed, okedel.
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ongkengkall, v.a.s.is to be pushed down or made fall; is to be torn down.
ongkengkall a kirel el mongkangk; ongkangk a mechut el blai el me er a chutem; ongkengkii a chutem el mei er rael; ongkengkel.
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titiuul, v.a.s.is to be rolled.
titiuul a kirel el metitai; melitai er ngii; titiuul a bduu.
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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
maiscorn.maisblond.
tebullswelling; earth mound.tebull a medalangry-looking.
cherouwhite mushroom; white scar.cherouwhite mushroom; white scar.
chetaubrief rain squall.chetaubrief rain squall.
chiechabhole; hollow; cavity (in tooth).mechiechab(teeth) full of cavities.
baikingdisease; germs.baikingdisease; germs.
rubakelder; old man; chief; foreign man; boyfriend; husband.rubakhaving the qualities of an old man.

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
ungial a rengulhappiness; joy.
oltak er a renguldeceive oneself about being someone's sweetheart.
dmolech a rengulwise; prudent; careful in planning ahead.
mengerar er a rengul criticise; insult; put down; make someone feel ashamed; hurt someone's feelings.
bekesbesib a rengulprone to sweating; easily angered; touchy.
komeklii a rengul(person) controlling themselves; (person) holding their tongue.
ngmasech a rengulget angry.

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