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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:

bleng, v.r.s.covered with hand; stopped up.
bleng a mla obeng, metenget; telenget, mengir a ngerel, bleng a telil.
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ilengel, v.r.s.halted or stopped from the side; headed off.
ilengel a ollumel el delasech el kerrekar, ilengel a mui er a ralm, klalo er a irechar.
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nglimet, v.r.s.bailed.
nglimet a mla mengimet; mlai a nglimet; diak a ngmatel er ngii.
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selilek, v.r.s.washed.
selilek a mla mesilek; bail a selilek; silekii, smilek, selekel.
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ulngakt, v.r.s.carried; transported.
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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:

bertachel, v.a.s.(hands) are to be clapped; is to be slapped; deaf (i.e., has to be tapped on the back to get attention).
bertachel a kirel el obrotech; mertechii, mrotech, mechad a bertachel.
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chedechedechaol, v.a.s.is to be talked about or discussed.
chedechedechaol a kirel el mo rengii a tekoi; kirel el mechedecheduch; chedechedechaol el kirel a betok el ngodech el omerellel.
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chedool, v.a.s.is to be roofed.
chedool a lechengaol a chado er ngii; locha chado er a blai, chodeuii, chemado, mengado er ngii, chedouel.
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chisisall, v.a.s.are to be piled up one on top of the other.
chisisall a meleket; kirel el mechisois; choisisii, choisois a babier, mengisois er a blil, chisisel a blai.
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ltukel, v.a.s.(someone) is to be remembered (because he will be a titled person).
ltukel a kirel a omelatk; ungil a omerellel el chad a ltukel; klou a omelatk el kirel; kedung el chad a ltukel, ltkel.
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odengelengelall, v.a.s.is to be sent or thrown down slope; is to be sailed downwind.
odengelengelall a kirel modengelengel; odengelengel a kerrekar er a taoch.
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urdechall, v.a.s.is to be buttoned/inlaid.
urdechall a kirel el murodech; locha urdechel; merdechii, mrodech a bail; urdechel.
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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
otekliklvertical support beam for buadel whose bottom end lis on imuul.otekliklvertical support beam for buadel whose bottom end lis on imuul.
lebfuzz (on leaf) of plant (e.g.; sugar cane; grass); plant in coffee family; shyness.meleblebitchy; prickly; covered with fuzz of plant.
chullrain; rainy season.chullrainy.
choalechsea urchin.choalech(head) having bristly hair.
riamelfootball fruit (Pangi; Payan).bekeriamelsmell like football fruit; sweaty; have a strong body odor (especially, as result of diet or poor hygiene).
olechutellarge bamboo raftolechutel(boat, person) slow-moving
burekswelling.oburekswollen.

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
diak lodengelii a rengul(person) unaware of his limitations or overestimates his abilities or overextends himself with committments.
moded a rengul(person is) easygoing/even-tempered.
diak lemesim a rengulstick to one's convictions; not change one's mind.
ngemokel a renguldesirous off; lusting after.
seitak a rengul(person is) very choosy; picky.
omai er a rengulhesitate; be unsure about.
klikiid a renguluninvolved.

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