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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:

delachel, v.r.s.(trap) set.
delachel a mla medachel; bub a delachel, delechall, melachel a bedikel er a beab, dochelii.
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klimut, v.r.s.grabbed and thrown down; overpowered.
klimut a blitelek; telilech er a chutem; mla mekimut e le ng mechitechut; kimtengii a sechelil.
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klsous, v.r.s.(metal, wood, etc.) filed.
klsous a klsoks; mla meksous er a ksous.
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telikak, v.r.s.(legs) spread apart.
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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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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:

derebakel, v.a.s.is to be thrust at with spear.
derebakel a kirel el mederubek; merrubek er ngii; durebekii a ochab, durubek a ducher, osiik a ngduul.
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imekill, v.a.s.is to be loosened.
imekill a kirel el mo mimokl; imeklii a delibuk, mo diak le kes a lechetel a chim, imeklel.
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kimtengall, v.a.s.is to be grabbed and thrown down; is to be overpowered.
kimetengall a kirel mekimut; koimetengii, mitekelengii, nguu el tilechii.
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kloaol, v.a.s.is to be grabbed at and squeezed or kneaded; (taro patch) is to be prepared.
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ksekikl, v.a.s.(tapioca) is to be grated; (tapioca) requires grating before boiling.
ksekikl a cherduch el diokang el di kirelel meksous; diak el chedelumel.
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ngemetall, v.a.s.is to be bailed.
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ngemull, v.a.s.(grass; garden; yard; etc.) is to be cut.
ngemull a kirel el mengaml; ngomlii a mekesokes, nguaml a rael, melaml; ngemlel.
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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
olechutellarge bamboo raftolechutel(boat, person) slow-moving
daktfear; awe.bedektallfearful; shy.
olechutellarge bamboo raftolechutellarge bamboo raft
chedechuulknack/magical power for doing things; blueprint; plan (for house, bai, etc).chedechuulingenious; clever; inventive.
tangtikebikelsee-saw; teeter-totter.tangtikebikel(object) wobbly or in danger of falling over.
chelechedsmall sea crab.chelechedhusked.
kltombluntness; dullness.ketom(knife, etc) blunt or dull.

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
ulserechakl a rengulcalm; unexcitable.
belalk a rengulfeel shame/fright.
ouedikel a rengulnervous; worried.
diak lodengelii a rengul(person) unaware of his limitations or overestimates his abilities or overextends himself with committments.
turk a rengulturk
meringel a rengulfeel bad about (something wasted); (something wasted) arouse sympathy; (something valuable) wasted.
merirem er a rengulhurt someone's feelings.

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