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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:

blart, v.r.s.hidden.
blart a mla obart; berrotel, diak le meues, mart a udoud, bertel.
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rringet, v.r.s.chewed; crushed.
rringet a mla meringet; kelel a rringet, ringetii, reminget.
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selechesokl, v.r.s.(distance) jumped.
selechesokl a mla mesechesokl; mla sucheseklii; mla ridekeklii; silchesokl er ngii; melechesokl.
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seluud, v.r.s.shredded; stripped off.
seluud a seloud; mla mesuud; mla smuud a berdel a kim.
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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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ulimoim, v.r.s.lowered; (boat) moved out to deep water.
ulimoim a mla moimoim; ngar bab el mei; oimimii, oimoim a mengur, "menga ulimoim" a menga a ulechar e merael el kall, oimimel.
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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:

bengkengkall, v.a.s.is to be laid on ground.
bengkengkall a kirel el obengkangk; mengkengkii a bambuu, mengkangk a kerrekar, mo blengkangk, bengkengkel.
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chesuerngall, v.a.s.(face) is to be slapped; is to be slapped in the face.
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lemelemall, v.a.s.(long object) is to be laid down lengthwise; (work, schooling, etc.) is to be completed; is to be accomplished; (path, stream, etc.) is to be followed.
lemelemall a kirel melemolem; diak lemeterob, urreor a lemelemall, lomelemii a urreor; lomolem, lemelemel.
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otutekiil, v.a.s.is to be told on or accused.
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riueruall, v.a.s.is to be fanned.
riueruall a kirel el meruoru, msa eolt; riueruii a smecher; riueruel.
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sebokel, v.a.s.is to be kicked.
sebokel a kirel el mesebek; osebokel er a rrat a sebokel; roderdii, sobekii, suebek, sebekel.
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tebiil, v.a.s.is to be planned, arranged or decided on or determined.
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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
chetaubrief rain squall.chetau (skin) dark.
brotechclapping; wooden paddle used as war weapon; applause; praise.bekebrotechprone to slapping.
diulareng(someone's) happiness/joy.dmeuhappy; glad; joyful; appreciative.
otangcheek.bekotangelhave fat cheeks.
rubakelder; old man; chief; foreign man; boyfriend; husband.rubakhaving the qualities of an old man.
chemadechcoconut sap.chemadech (plant) unripe or green; (food) raw or uncooked; be in full standing position when dancing; brand new.
dechudechdirt; mud; patching material; filling (for cavity).dechudech dirty; muddy.

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
melekoi a renguldetermined; well-motivated; make rasping or humming sound in the lungs; make humming moise while sleeping; (cat) purr.
Rengulbaititle of chiefs in Imeliik.
mekngit a rengulfeel sorry/sad about; mean; inconsiderate.
bechecherd a rengulirascible; easily fed up with.
meleolt a rengul(person) carefree or nonchalant; (person) not easily disturbed or content to let things happen as they may.
menglou er a rengultry to make (someone, oneself) patient; assure; take edge of one's hunger.
mesmesim a rengulunstable; changing one's mind easily.

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