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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:

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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chelsuart, v.r.s.covered with asphalt.
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delebachel, v.r.s.chopped down.
delebachel a mla medobech; delobech er a kedorm, melobech, dobechii, duobech a ngikel, debechel.
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llik, v.r.s.(bottom of pot, basket) lined with leaves.
llik a ngar er ngii a lkil; mla melik; likir a chelais, lmik a blil a kall.
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ultekau, v.r.s.held in lap; (house) supported (by foundation, etc.).
ultekau a mla motekau; ngar er a ouach; mechas a ultekau er a ngalek, otekur, oltekau a chimal, otekul.
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ulterekokl, v.r.s.entrusted to someone; given for safekeeping; (specific time) set; sincere, real; genuine; really; surely; for sure; definitely.
ulterekokl a mla moterekokl; ultebechel el kmal ngii; mloterekokl el mengkar a chutem; oterekeklii a omerolel, oterekokl a okelel a babii er ngii; ulterekeklel.
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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:

bdechall, v.a.s.is to be vomited on.
bdechall a kirel el obudech, otobed a kllel, mudech a kllel, mdechii; kirel el omudech; mdechel.
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dengesall, v.a.s.is to be looked up at.
dengesall a omes er a bab; kirei el medanges; dongesii, dmanges a berikd el buuch, melanges er a sils; dengesel a buuch.
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ochidall, v.a.s.is to be messed up.
ochidall a kirel el mochoid, mochetekl, klalo er a skoki a ochidall el osiik a mekull er a llach el klalo.
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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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sikesall, v.a.s.(raft, canoe, etc.) is to be poled.
sikesall a kirel el mesikes; sikesii a mlai; smikes, melikes a brer; sikesel a brer.
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suodel, v.a.s.is to be shredded/stripped off.
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ukiill, v.a.s.is to be stopped or restrained.
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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.

rekungland crab.bekerekungsmell of crabs (after cooking or eating crabs, etc.).
H.O.(abbrev.) Babeldaob (used pejoratively).H.O.unexperienced in Western ways; ignorant of modern conveniences.
uidfruit that has fallen off the tree on its own.udall(fishnet) is to be pulled in.
rubakelder; old man; chief; foreign man; boyfriend; husband.bekerubaksmell like an old man.
chedechuulknack/magical power for doing things; blueprint; plan (for house, bai, etc).chedechuulknack/magical power for doing things; blueprint; plan (for house, bai, etc).
builmoon; month.builmoon; month.

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:

mengaidesachel a rengulcompetitive.
smecher a rengulhomesick.
seselkang a rengulbecoming bored or impatient.
ngodech er a rengulfind something strange, different or suspicious.
bliochel a rengulsincere; open-minded.
tmuu er a rengul(something) occurs to (person)/enters (person's) mind.
meduch a rengulhard-working; conscientious; strong-willed; persevering.

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