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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:

blar, v.r.s.slapped in the face.
blar a mla obar; mechelebed, merngii, mar, blar a medal, berengel.
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blingel, v.r.s.(boat) stranded by low tide or run aground.
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delengesakl, v.r.s.(person or thing) under a spell.
delengesakl a mla medengesakl; chad a mla melengesakl er ngii; olengit a mekngit el kirel; dongeseklii er a chelid.
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kldoked, v.r.s.untied; unfastened.
kldoked a mla mekedoked; nglai a semesemel, kodekedii, kodoked a ouak, kedekedel.
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seluched, v.r.s.pulled at; pressed.
seluched a mla mesuched; suchedii a chimal; seluched me ng smecher, smuched, sechedel.
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ulchetekl, v.r.s.messed up.
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uliubek, v.r.s.broken or smashed through.
uliubek a mla moiubek; lling; ngar ngiia metetoech; chesimer a uliubek; oibekii, oiubek, oibekel.
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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:

bechall, v.a.s.(long object) is to be thrown.
bechall a kirel el oboech; uloech a bechall. mechii, moech a biskang, bechel.
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chelebodel, v.a.s.is to be hit or struck.
chelebodel a oleker a chelebed; kirel el mechelebed; cholebedii, cholebed, diak le chelbodel a chad; chelebedel.
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ngunguchall, v.a.s.is to be prayed to.
ngunguchall a kirel el mengunguuch; ngunguchii me le cheridii er a rrom; ngunguchall el mo soal el mo er a skuul; ngunguchel.
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ocheroall, v.a.s.(turtle) is to be turned face up; (clothes) are to be turned inside out.
ocheroall a kirel el mochero; mechereuii, uel a ocheroall; mo dengarech; ocherouel.
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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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riokel, v.a.s.is to be swept.
riokel a kirel el meriik; besbas a riokel; riekii a blai; remiik a besbas; rikel a rael.
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ruikl, v.a.s.is to be divided up or distributed.
ruikl a biongel; kirel el merous; rusel a kall; ruikl er a beluu.
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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
chelechelouldandruff.chelechelouldandruff.
burekswelling.oburekget dyed or stained with color.
mekealdhot water; hot drink (esp., coffee).mekeald warm; hot.
bisechwild taro (makes mouth itchy).bisechfish with black and yellow stripes (makes mouth itchy).
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.
burachedskin disease in which white spots spread over body.burachedskin disease in which white spots spread over body.
bausmell; odor; scent.bekebausmell of vagina.

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
keremerem a rengulstupid; ignorant.
mesubed a rengulaccept; be resigned to; learn a lesson; learn from experience.
bedis a rengulinconsiderate.
mengurt a rengulhurt (feelings); make (someone) despair.
bekesbesib a rengulprone to sweating; easily angered; touchy.
meses a rengulindustrious; diligent.
mengesib er a rengul get someone angry.

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