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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:

bludech, v.r.s.bound into sheaves; pacified.
bludech a mla obudech; mdechii, bludech el beluu a chimo ngerel; ngar ngii a kltalreng; bdechel a beluu.
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chelterbis, v.r.s.spun around.
chelterbis a mla mecheterebis mengeterebis, choterebisur a mesil, cheterebisul a mesil.
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kerretall, v.r.s.scratched; raked.
kerretall a mla mekertall; katuu a mla kortellii a medal, kortall; mengsemramr, kosemramr, kertellel.
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kladikm, v.r.s.right-handed; graceful (esp., in dance).
kladikm a meduch e klebokel; ungil el meloik e oungelakel, kladikm er a tekoi me a cheldecheduch.
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klloaol, v.r.s.grabbed at and squeezed or kneaded; (taro patch) prepared.
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telebiall, v.r.s.gestured to with raised eyebrows.
telebiall a toberall; mla metebiall; tobiall a medal; menglou a medal.
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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:

bdesall, v.a.s.is to be thrown hard/pushed away.
bdesall a kirel el obides; mechoit, mdesii, mides a besbas, bdesel.
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chederedall, v.a.s.are to be put together or into order; are to be arranged.
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cherecheruul, v.a.s.(liquid; etc.) is to be stirred up/agitated.
cherecheruul a beot el mecherechar; mechecherechar, cherecheruul el omoachel.
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ngkuul, v.a.s.is to be transported or moved.
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semikel, v.a.s.is to be husked by hand.
semikel a kirel el mesamk; mengai a semkel; kukau a semikel; semikel a klalo el betok a semkel; semsemikel.
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tngekill, v.a.s.is to be appeased or consoled
tngekill a kirel el metngakl; kirel el mengunguuch; tingeklii a rengul a meltord; locha tngakireng; tngeklel.
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ulochall, v.a.s.is to be prophesied about.
ulochall a kirel el mulaoch; omlaoch er ngii; mlochii a meringel el kodall; mlaoch a klebelung; ulochel.
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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
oreomelforest; woods.chereomel forested; covered with vegetation.
cheludechwooden float for fish net; light weight wood used to make corks.cheludech(wood) dried out (and light in weight).
tebullswelling; earth mound.tebullbulging, hanging.
lusechluck.melusechalways lucky.
bisechwild taro (makes mouth itchy).bisechfish with black and yellow stripes (makes mouth itchy).
rekungland crab.bekerekungsmell of crabs (after cooking or eating crabs, etc.).

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
telirem a rengulfeelings hurt.
meringel a rengulfeel bad about (something wasted); (something wasted) arouse sympathy; (something valuable) wasted.
medecherecher a rengul stubborn; adamant; not easily swayed.
ungil er a rengulfine or all right with.
moalech a renguldisappointed; dismayed.
blak a rengulhard-working; diligent; eager; attentive; interested in; intent upon; decided on; in favor of.
rengul a diokangstarch.

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