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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:

berrekakl, v.r.s.swallowed.
berrekakl a mla oberekakl; merkeklii a kelel, omerekakl, berekeklel.
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blakes, v.r.s.(leg) moved to walk.
blakes a mla obakes; mekesii, blakes a cheroid, blekeklel
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chelalb, v.r.s.(outer surface of betel nut fiber) stripped off; (wood) whittled.
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delidiim, v.r.s.sprayed or splashed all over.
delidiim a mla medidiim; didiim er a daob, delidiim er a daob, dekimes er dersesei el daob; didimel.
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klemuu, v.r.s.(person) having shaven head or closely-cropped hair.
klemuu a mla mekemuu; komungii a bdelul, mengemuu; telamk a chiul.
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uldoseb, v.r.s.relieved from pain, overwork, etc..
uldoseb a mla modoseb; diak le charm a bedengel me a rengul; uldoseb e le chedam me a chedil a ulurreor el kirir; mla suobel; mla imiit er ringel; odesebel.
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uliuid, v.r.s.copied; translated; transferred.
uliuid a mla moiuid; oidii a bilel, oiuid a chutem el mo er a ngodech el chad; oidel.
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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:

bekebekall, v.a.s.is to be gladdened or made happy.
bekebekall a kirel el obekebek, mekebekii a medal, rullii a rengul el mo ungil, mo diak le merur; omekebek er ngii, bekebekel.
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cherirall, v.a.s.is to be caught up with; (hair, etc.) is to be cut to same length.
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ngidall, v.a.s.is to be lifted out of water.
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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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sersall, v.a.s.is to be shaken out.
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siokel, v.a.s.is to be looked or sought for.
siokel a kirel el mesiik; osiik er a mo menguteling er a buai; siekii; skel
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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
bidokelhives.bidokel broken out in hives.
kerdikyaws; framboesia.kerdiksuffering from yaws.
tangtikebikelsee-saw; teeter-totter.tangtikebikel(object) wobbly or in danger of falling over.
baikingdisease; germs.baikingdisease; germs.
bidokelhives.bidokelhives.
tebekbukrayfish.tebekbukrayfish.
singchwaist; pelvis; lower back.bekesingch

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
bechelechelingaol a rengulselfish; greedy; stingy; self-centered.
olturk a rengulsatiate; make someone give up (from fatigue); get one's fill of; insult continuously or mercilessly; let someone really have it.
omichoech a rengul(stomach) grumble, talk or gurgle (especially from hunger); (person) feel excited.
berngel a rengulanything discouraging to one's spirit.
merechorech a rengulselfish; greedy; stingy.
oltak er a renguldeceive oneself about being someone's sweetheart.
ngodech er a rengulfind something strange, different or suspicious.

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