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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:

chelidabel, v.r.s.hang onto with hands; hanging.
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delechodech, v.r.s.(person) speared or clubbed.
delechodech a mla medechodech; chellebed er a olechodech, chelebed er a mekemad.
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delidech, v.r.s.blinded or dazzled by a strong light.
delidech a mla medidech; dichel a sils a mo er a medal, delidech a medal er a dichel a sils
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klsuul, v.r.s.lied about; misrepresented.
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uldik, v.r.s.banished; exiled; sent away.
uldik a ultobed; mla modik; mla motobed, odikii er a blai; mla dmik; odikel.
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ulekesebakl, v.r.s.(fingers) snapped; (hands) clapped.
ulekesebakl a kesebakl; mokesebakl a chimal; okesebeklii; okesebakl a chimal el omrotech; kosebakl a ngerel el oungeroel; kesebeklel.
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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:

dekedakel, v.a.s.is to be cut or sliced.
dekedakel a kirel el medekodek; mesekosek, dokodek a ngikel, sokosek, melebes.
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esemall, v.a.s.is to be tried out/challenged.
esemall a kirel el measem; meues el mo ungil, kirel mo er a omelasem er a uchei er a bo ltobed; esemii, esemel a ngloik.
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ochebngall, v.a.s.is to be brought to surface of water.
ochebngall a kirel el mochob; mei er a bab; olechob er a mlai, ochebngii a ert el mei er a bebul a daob; ochebngel.
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ocheruul, v.a.s.is to be filled with liquid.
ocheruul a kirel el mokeek, ralm a ocheruul er a butiliang; mesuk er a chelsel; mecherur a ollumel; ocherul.
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odeleball, v.a.s.is to be dipped into water.
odeleball a morsors er a daob; kirel moduleb; odelebii; olduleb er a daob, odelebel.
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oderuchel, v.a.s.is to be told/asked/encouraged to do something; is to be sent on an errand.
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tebetball, v.a.s.(long object) is to be divided or split into small pieces, strips, etc.
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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
chermallhibiscus (bark used as a rope; leaves used as mulch for taro).chermallPalauan money in form of green or blue glass beads.
britelshakiness; jitters.britel(person) shaky/jittery.
kurstwitching (nervous disorder) .kurstwitching (nervous disorder) .
sengerengerhunger; starvation.bekesengerengerget hungry easily; always getting hungry.
cherollbirth; birthday.ulemcheroll(woman) having already borne children.
chudelgrass.chudelgrass.
hambunghalf.hambunghalf.

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
omtechei a rengulget back at; do to someone as he does to you.
rrau a rengulconfused/puzzled by/about.
mengurs er a rengulattract.
kesib a rengulangry.
tuobed a rengulone's real feelings come out.
mechese a rengulbecoming surprised.
ukab er a rengul(something sentimental) arouses one's emotions (touch someone's figurative heart).

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