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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:

blal, v.r.s.astonished; amazed.
blal a mla obal a rengul; mechas a rengul; ongasireng a belengel a reng.
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blengob, v.r.s.has had pelvis moved back and forth against it.
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blok, v.r.s.open; spread apart.
blok a mla obok; blkais, chesimer a teleu, blok a medal, mok, bekengel.
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cheluum, v.r.s.wrapped in leaves or betel nut fiber and baked.
cheluum a cheluomel el ngikel.
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klekas, v.r.s.scratched (because itchy).
klekas a mla mekekas; kukesur, mengkas a ochil el mekekad, kokas, kekesul a ouach.
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seliik, v.r.s.(object or person) looked for or searched for or having been sought after.
seliik a mla mesiik; mla metik, rrechorech el udoud a seliik; smiik; skel.
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teliu, v.r.s.carried with arm bent out and up; (card) drawn or picked.
teliu a telkool; mla metiu; tmiu a bilel, tiungar a ngelekel; meliu a ditel; tiungal a ngalek.
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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:

cheridall, v.a.s.is to be removed to a distance or moved away.
cheridall a kirel mo cheroid; diak le keed, choridii, choroid; babii a cheridall er a blai; cheridel.
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chideball, v.a.s.is to be hung onto with hands.
chideball a kirel el mechidobel, chimal a chedam a chideball er a rengelekel, choidebelii er a demal, mengidobel, chidebelel.
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dedesall, v.a.s.(place) is to be cleared.
dedesall a kirel el mo mededaes; dmedesii, blai a dedesall diak le chelimeluk, dmedaes.
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dirkall, v.a.s.is to be looked at in a mirror.
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ngedall, v.a.s.is to be seen/sent off; is to be returned/sent back; (bride) is to be brought to prospective husband's family.
ngedall a kirel mengader; ngedall er a blil a chebechiil; ngoderii a ngelekel; merader a lleng el olekang; ngederel.
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otematel, v.a.s.is to be pulled at; is to be drawn tight/taut.
otematel a kirel el motamet, kirel el mekurs; oltamet a kerrekar, kursii, otemetii a chimal, otemetel.
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sikesall, v.a.s.(raft, canoe, etc.) is to be poled.
sikesall a kirel el mesikes; sikesii a mlai; smikes, melikes a brer; sikesel a brer.
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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
choalechsea urchin.choalech(head) having bristly hair.
bausmell; odor; scent.bekebausmell of vagina.
kodalldeath.diak a kodelleleternal; everlasting.
chermallhibiscus (bark used as a rope; leaves used as mulch for taro).chermallPalauan money in form of green or blue glass beads.
kobesossea horse.kobesossea horse.
teberoishin; (large, triangle-shaped) coconut candy.teberoibow-legged.
rirfallen leaves of kebui.merir(leaves) yellow.

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
seitak a rengul(person is) very choosy; picky.
meringel a rengulfeel bad about (something wasted); (something wasted) arouse sympathy; (something valuable) wasted.
olsiich er a rengultake pleasure in someone else's pain, difficulties, problems, etc.
betik er a rengulone's beloved.
beralm a rengullazy; unmotivated; unconcerned; uncaring.
mederdirk a rengulfeel scorn for.
blekebek a rengulpleasant/nice (in personality); congenial.

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