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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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cheltekill, v.r.s.held or led by the hand; carried; towed; persuaded; carrying something.
cheltekill a cheltakl, mengetakl.
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klemodel, v.r.s.sewn up; (eyes) narrow or slit.
klemodel a klemed; klemodel a medal a mad el chisiabal.
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ulekiai, v.r.s.stopped; restrained.
ulekiai a oudelasech; mla mukiai; cheroid er ngii, omekiai a babii; mekiai a ice ; ulekiai er a rrom; ukiil a dekool.
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ulengoid, v.r.s.(food) given or exchanged ceremonially; messed up; put in wrong place.
ulengoid a mla merael a betok el chim; mla mongoid a chutem; ulengoid el cheleuid a rolel; ulechoid; cheliseksikd kung; ongidii a chutem, ongoid a udoud, ongidel.
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ultamet, v.r.s.pulled at; drawn tight or taut.
ultamet a mla motamet; klurs; ert a ultamet el mong; mla otemetii, otamet a kerrekar, otemetel.
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uluked, v.r.s.(fish) caught by casting net.
uluked a mla meuked; mekebud a uluked er a chelii.
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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:

kekeringall, v.a.s.is to be made smaller or reduced in size.
kekeringall a kirel el mo kekerei; mengkekerei; kokeringii a blengur, kmekerei a mo delikik el kall, diak le klou, diak luleiis; kekeringil.
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oimimall, v.a.s.is to be lowered; (boat) is to be moved out to deep water; (food) is to be brought to meteet.
oimimall a kirel el moimoim; oimimii a bilas el mo er a dmolech; oimoim, olimoim, oimimel; mo er a eou. oimimel; oimimel a oimoim er ngii; olimoim.
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techelekill, v.a.s.is to be moved or pushed up and away; is to be cleared.
techelekill a kirel el metechelokl; kirel el metemotem a oreomel; melechelokl er a kedidai; rullii el mo moded; tucheleklii a chutem; techeleklel.
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terudall, v.a.s.is to be broken, torn or smashed down; is to be taken apart.
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titiuul, v.a.s.is to be rolled.
titiuul a kirel el metitai; melitai er ngii; titiuul a bduu.
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udechemall, v.a.s.is to be caught or captured.
udechemall a kirel el mudechem; kirel el motoir el moreked; mdechemii a malk; mdechem a babii, udechemel.
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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
oreomelforest; woods.chereomeloreomel
cherouwhite mushroom; white scar.cherouwhite mushroom; white scar.
klukuktomorrow; the next or following day.klukuktomorrow; the next or following day.
smuuchscorpion fish (hardly moves in water).smuuchscorpion fish (hardly moves in water).
cheludechwooden float for fish net; light weight wood used to make corks.cheludechwooden float for fish net; light weight wood used to make corks.
chermallhibiscus (bark used as a rope; leaves used as mulch for taro).chermallhibiscus (bark used as a rope; leaves used as mulch for taro).
siktcluster/bunch of fruit.berikt(tree) productive or bearing much fruit.

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
ongemengemek a rengulongemengemek
komeklii a rengul(person) controlling themselves; (person) holding their tongue.
ulsarech a rengul(emotions etc.) held in.
mekreos a rengulmiserly; avaricious; selfish.
durengulintention.
ngellitel a rengulchoosy.
mengurs er a rengulattract.

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