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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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chelsemsum, v.r.s.(fingers) twisted on over the other.
chelsemsum a mla mechisemsum, mla choisemsum a chimal, chisemsemngel.
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kerroker, v.r.s.(food) removed from pot completely.
kerroker a mla mekeroker; mla mengai el rokui; bachachau, korekerii a olekang, koroker, kerekerel.
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klsemramr, v.r.s.scratched at.
klsemramr a kerretal a medal; mla mekesemrar; kosemremrii, mengesemramr.
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klsokes, v.r.s.fished out.
klsokes a cheleched el mla mekesokes; nglai a ngikel er ngii; kesekesel.
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telok, v.r.s.(toe) stubbed; (wood) planed against grain.
telok a ultok; diak el ungil; diak el ngar er a urebetellel a tekoi; telok el cheldecheduch.
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ulekbeches, v.r.s.renovated; repaired.
ulekbeches a mle mechut e meruul el mo beches; blimam a mla mukbeches; mla mekbechesur, mla mo diak el mechut; ukbechesul.
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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:

beksall, v.a.s.(spearhead) is to be pounded and flattened.
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ochisall, v.a.s.is to be emptied.
ochisall a kirel el mochis; diak el ochisall a ollumel, di kirel el ngar ngii a ilumel; ochisir a klengoes.
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rtachel, v.a.s.is to be touched.
rtachel a mo rutechii; kirel el merutech; delenguchel a rtachel er a rurt; rutechii; rtechel.
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sechedekill, v.a.s.is to be tied or bound.
sechedekill a kirel mesechedekl; melibuk, sichedeklii a okul a ert; sichedekl a ouak, sechedeklel.
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secheseball, v.a.s.is to be ladled out.
secheseball a kirel mesecheseb; mengisb a ralm; sochesebii, socheseb a ralm, melecheseb; sechesebel.
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techekill, v.a.s.is to be inserted (and held firmly).
techekill a kirel el metichekl; ticheklii, melichekl er ngii, ko er a delibuk; ticheklel a chui.
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techull, v.a.s.is to be carried on the head.
techull a kirel el metuchel; kukau a techull er a mesei; tuchelii a kall; tmuchel, meluchel, techelel.
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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
ngelloklnodding; dozing (off).olengelloklslow-moving; sluggish.
telengtungdwild tamarind; lead tree.telengtungdwoven with small weave.
kelebusjail, prison.kelebusjail, prison.
ngulasthma.ngulasthmatic; suffering from a bout of asthma.
tutkwart on sole of foot; disease of kebui leaves.tutkpointer; pole (for picking fruit).
chullrain; rainy season.chullrain; rainy season.
chermallhibiscus (bark used as a rope; leaves used as mulch for taro).chermallhibiscus (bark used as a rope; leaves used as mulch for taro).

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
olsarech er a rengulhold in or control emotions, anger etc.
bletengel a rengulnonchalance; laziness.
Rengulbaititle of chiefs in Imeliik.
kikiongel a rengul(person is) obstinate/uncooperative; sullen.
raud a rengulvariable; indecisive.
chebosech a rengulboring; dull; poor at speaking.
mengeokl er a rengulburden; bother; cause concern; weigh on.

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