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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:

blekall, v.r.s.driven; sailed; (person) driven by desire to wander or spend time away from home.
blekall a mla obekall; mekellii a mlai, rengeasek a blekall er a ungil klebesei.
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cheleched, v.r.s.husked.
cheleched a chelechidel; lius el mla mecheched; chechedel.
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chelimer, v.r.s.pried open; lifted or moved (by a wedge).
chelimer a mla mechimer; beltikel, berruud, chimerii, chuimer a chesimer, mengimer.
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rrisu, v.r.s.washed or rinsed off.
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telabd, v.r.s.skinned; scraped
telabd a telebudel; mla metabd; nglai budel; telabd el malk.
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uldak, v.r.s.added together; unified; joined.
uldak a diak le kakerous; udoud a dmak; uldak er a chimo el chidib, odak, odekial.
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ulekchubs, v.r.s.(having been) healed.
ulekchubs a mla mukar el mo mechubs; mla mo diak a telemall er ngii; cheltechat a ulekchubs.
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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:

bengkengkoll, v.a.s.(object, usually long) to be laid on ground; exposed quickly by outgoing tide.
bengkengkoll a meched el obebengkangk a mlai er ngii.
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ngkodel, v.a.s.(fishnet) is to be made.
ngkodel a kirel el mengiked; uked er a mekebud a ngkodel; ngikedii, ngmiked a uked.
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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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osiseball, v.a.s.is to be put, pushed or forced in.
osiseball a kirel el mosiseb; oltuu, mekull el diak el osiseball a ice er a Belau.
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otutuul, v.a.s.is to be suckled, nursed, given milk.
otutuul a kirel el motut; msa tul; tolechoi a otutuul, otutur, otutul.
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rsoal, v.a.s.is to be washed or rinsed off.
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ukbetengall, v.a.s.is to be made easy or cheap.
ukbetengall a kirel el mukbeot; remuul el mo beot, mekbetengii a urreor, mekbeot a char, ukbetengel.
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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
dechudechdirt; mud; patching material; filling (for cavity).dechudechdirt; mud; patching material; filling (for cavity).
besokelringworm.besokelinfected with ringworm.
chiechabhole; hollow; cavity (in tooth).mechiechab(teeth) full of cavities.
chermallhibiscus (bark used as a rope; leaves used as mulch for taro).chermallcheromel
lalechpus.bellachelpurulent; festering; (woman's genitals) unclean and smelly; (starchy food) too soft or slimy.
otordblunt-headed parrot fish.otordblunt-headed parrot fish.
otangcheek.bekotangelhave fat cheeks.

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
melamet er a renguldo things as one pleases.
obais a rengulget fed up with; become unable to cope with.
checherd a rengulimpatient; fed up with.
bechedechudel a rengulirritable.
Dirrengulbaititle of feminine counterpart or assistant to chief in Imeliik.
ralmetaoch a rengulinsensitive; not easily affected; easygoing; casual; prone to avoiding responsibility.
techetech a rengulstubborn; obsessed; determined.

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