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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:

berrekakl, v.r.s.swallowed.
berrekakl a mla oberekakl; merkeklii a kelel, omerekakl, berekeklel.
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bldobed, v.r.s.taken or torn off.
bldobed a nglai, nglubet, medobed, bldobed a bilel, medbedii, bedebedel.
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cheleldoech, v.r.s.has glow cast upon it.
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klsadel, v.r.s.decreased; reduced; depleted.
klsadel a ngesonges er a kirel el ildois; ulengesonges; ngar er ngii a dibus, mengesadel, kosedelii, kosadel.
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uldois, v.r.s.increased; added to.
uldois a mla mudois; mla morngii a dechelel; remechitechut a obdois a blingelir er a kall; udisel a kelir.
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uldoseb, v.r.s.relieved from pain, overwork, etc..
uldoseb a mla modoseb; diak le charm a bedengel me a rengul; uldoseb e le chedam me a chedil a ulurreor el kirir; mla suobel; mla imiit er ringel; odesebel.
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ulechem, v.r.s.(fish or tapioca) tied and wrapped.
ulechem a mla mochem; mla mechem a ngikel; odoim a ulechem el ngikel.
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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:

bechall, v.a.s.(long object) is to be thrown.
bechall a kirel el oboech; uloech a bechall. mechii, moech a biskang, bechel.
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bekesengchall, v.a.s.is to be forced open/pulled apart by force.
bekesengchall a kirel el obekesangch, obok, mekesengchii a chesimer, mekengii, bekesengchel.
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dechall, v.a.s.is to be increased or raised in amount.
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diberdall, v.a.s.is to be laid crosswise.
diberdall kirel el medbard; diak le llemolem; mo delbard, diberdii a bambuu er a rael el melenget.
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kedelsall, v.a.s.is to be made thicker.
kedelsall a kirel el mo kedols; kilungii, mengedols er ngii; mo klou, kodelsii, kedelsel.
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otechall, v.a.s.is to be made to lean to side; is to be capsized.
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oteremedall, v.a.s.is to be pressed down/crushed.
oteremedall a kirel el moteremed cheremrum a oteremedall, oteremed.
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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
bukcorner; angle; joint; node.bkebkuulhaving many nodes; rough-edged; (shin of leg) have bumpy surface.
H.O.(abbrev.) Babeldaob (used pejoratively).H.O.unexperienced in Western ways; ignorant of modern conveniences.
mechasold woman; titled woman; foreign woman; male's father's sisters; girlfriend; wife.mechasget blackened with soot or ink; (pot) get burned or discolored.
chaseborash.chasebohaving rash or prickly heat.
bangikoibutterfly; moth.bangikoiprone to moving from one girlfriend/boyfriend to another.
chelechelouldandruff.chelechelouldandruff.
riklbold/violent behavior.meriklbold; violent; restless.

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
ngemokel a renguldesirous off; lusting after.
selorech a rengulcondescending.
tmuu er a rengul(something) occurs to (person)/enters (person's) mind.
bebeot a rengulrather undecided about something; not taking something too seriously.
ungial a rengulhappiness; joy.
blekebek a rengulpleasant/nice (in personality); congenial.
melechang a llechul a rengulteach (someone) a lesson.

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