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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:

chelabl, v.r.s.carried under arm.
chelabl a chelebill; mla mechabl, choblii a ngalek, chuabl a babier er ngi, cheblel.
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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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lledes, v.r.s.stretched; placed lengthwise.
lledes a telamet; melemalt, lledokl, mla meledes, llemolem, lodesii; lmedes, lledes a ochil,
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rrael, v.r.s.(particular distance) walked/traveled/covered.
rrael a mla remolii; beches el rael a rrael, ki mla merael er ngii.
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ulekedong, v.r.s.called.
ulekedong a mla mokedong; mla oleker er ngii; beluu a ulekedong er a cheldecheduch.
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ultoech, v.r.s.pierced or drilled through.
ultoech a mla motoech; mla mo chemolt; tmoech, otechii er a belsibs, ultoech er a bitang; otechel.
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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:

bedechekill, v.a.s.is to be thrown down (in fighting, etc.).
bedechekill a kirel el obedechakl, medecheklii a sechelil, medecheklii, klaibedechakl, bedecheklel.
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bitekill, v.a.s.is to be turned around or inside out or upside down.
bitekill a kirel el obitokl; miteklii a mlai; biteklel, chelebuul a bebitekill, a lta e ng kuk obitokl el ekong.
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chelutall, v.a.s.is to be slapped.
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ltukel, v.a.s.(someone) is to be remembered (because he will be a titled person).
ltukel a kirel a omelatk; ungil a omerellel el chad a ltukel; klou a omelatk el kirel; kedung el chad a ltukel, ltkel.
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ochisall, v.a.s.is to be chased away.
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otongall, v.a.s.is to be included.
otongall a kirel el motoi; oltoi, oldak, blengur a otongall a ongraol me a kliou me a rodech me a iasai er ngii; otongel.
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sbochel, v.a.s.(branches, etc.) are to be broken off.
sbochel a kirel el mesibech; mengai el mei er eou; rechelel a iedel a sbochel, sibechii, suibech a rachel, sbechel
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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
mongkcomplaint; criticism.bekemongkalways complaining.
dechuswart; mole.dechuswart; mole.
kerisgoiter.kerisgoiter.
chermallhibiscus (bark used as a rope; leaves used as mulch for taro).chermallPalauan money in form of green or blue glass beads.
kimtype of large clam; female genitals.bekekimsmell of clams (after cleaning or cooking clams).
tebullswelling; earth mound.tebull a medalangry-looking.
chudelgrass.chudelgreen jobfish.

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
seselkang a rengulbecoming bored or impatient.
bechecherd a rengulirascible; easily fed up with.
melemlim a rengulCurious, prying, snoopy, inquisitive, nosy.
orreked er a rengulrestrain or control (oneself) (esp., from showing anger).
blosech a rengulhaving strange feelings about; be suspicious of.
medul a renguldisgusted with.
klurt a rengul(feelings) hurt.

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