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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:

delechudech, v.r.s.soiled (with dirt or mud); patched; tar; pitch; asphalt.
delechudech a mla medechudech; delechudech a chemars er a chado duchedechii, duchudech.
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kellulau, v.r.s.whispered to.
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kliut, v.r.s.(weeds, grass) cut; (garden, village, road, etc.) cleaned up.
kliut a mla mekiut; kluotel, nglaml e rriik; mla mekedmokl el mo mededaes; kiuetii a beluu, kmiut a blai, kutel.
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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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selebech, v.r.s.tried on; adjusted; equalized.
selebech a delebedabel; ungil a ildois, sobechii, suebech a omelekoi, selebech el kall a ungil el diak a delikiik.
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selubed, v.r.s.(coconut tree) has cut re-opened to re-initiate sap flow.
selubed a mla mesubed; suubed a ilaot; subedii; sbedel a ilaot.
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ulkeek, v.r.s.filled up.
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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:

chechutel, v.a.s.is to be chewed on.
chechutel a deb me a ongchutel; menguchet a deb.
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chitemetall, v.a.s.(hand) is to be closed to make fist; is to be crushed into ball.
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echetall, v.a.s.is to be unhooked.
echetall a kirel el meiuchet; echetii, imuchet a bail er a techerakl; klalo el kirel el mengai er a techerakl.
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iuochel, v.a.s.is to be opened or cut open.
iuochel a kirel el meiuch; meliuch a mengur, imuich a mekebud.
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otekuul, v.a.s.is to be held in lap; (house) is to be supported (by foundation; etc.).
otekuul a kirel el motekau; oltekau, ngalek a otekuul; otekul a ngalek.
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sekesekoall, v.a.s.is to be crawled or crept over.
sekesekoall a kirel el mesekesako; melekesako er ngii; kongesachel el rael a sekesekoall.
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semesemall, v.a.s.is to be tied shut.
semesemall a semesamel.
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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
silssun; day.bekesils(boys) smell sweaty or gamey (after perspiring in sun).
otekliklvertical support beam for buadel whose bottom end lis on imuul.oteklikllying down with feet in air.
semumtrochus.semum having deformed fingers or toes.
dechudechdirt; mud; patching material; filling (for cavity).dechudechdirt; mud; patching material; filling (for cavity).
uesvision; sight; view.sekoesperceptive; sharp-minded; acute; sensitive; aware of one's responsibilities or surroundings; capable of looking at something thoroughly or seeing all the angles and possibilities.
chullrain; rainy season.chullrainy.
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
Rengulbaititle of chiefs in Imeliik.
mekikngit a rengulfeel rather sad or sorry about; rather mean or inconsiderate.
ngar er a bab a rengulconceited; disrespectful; proud; arrogant; haughty; snobbish.
medecherecher a rengul stubborn; adamant; not easily swayed.
ralmetaoch a rengulinsensitive; not easily affected; easygoing; casual; prone to avoiding responsibility.
olsiich er a rengultake pleasure in someone else's pain, difficulties, problems, etc.
ungil er a rengulfine or all right with.

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