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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:

blasech, v.r.s.counted, named or mentioned.
blasech a ngar a basech, mesechii, blasech er a omerael; besechel.
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blkobk, v.r.s.peeled (off).
blkobk a nglai a budel; mla obkobk; mkebkii, mkobk a tuu, bkebkel.
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chelisngekl, v.r.s.(head) turned to look.
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kled, v.r.s.directed; organized.
kled a beruadel, madelkled a medal a ungil a rengul; madelkled a klebokel el meloik.
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klekad, v.r.s.(debt) repaid.
klekad a mla mekekad; mla mengkad a blals, kokad a belsel, kokedeiir, kekedeel.
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klsemramr, v.r.s.scratched at.
klsemramr a kerretal a medal; mla mekesemrar; kosemremrii, mengesemramr.
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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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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:

chederedall, v.a.s.is to be explained.
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chesuchall, v.a.s.is to be given tortoise shell money.
chesuchall a kirel el mechesiuch; chosuchii a buchelsechal, mengesiuch, msa chesuchel.
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kedngiil, v.a.s.is to be tamed.
kedngiil a kirel el mekedmokl el mo kedung; kudngir a ngalek, kudung, rullii el mo kedung.
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kersall, v.a.s.is to be pulled, towed or dragged.
kersall a krukl; kirel el mekurs; kursii a mlai, otemetii, kmurs a kerrekar.
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riomel, v.a.s.is to be collected or gathered and transported.
riomel a kirel el meriim; kloleklel a riomel, riemii, reuiim; ngmai el rokui el otobed; riemel.
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ukderebereball, v.a.s.is to be made to sit like a man.
ukderebereball a kirel mukderboreb; mekderberebii a chad er a blai e msa ngerachel; mekdereboreb a ochil; ukderberebel; reberebel.
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ungelmall, v.a.s.is to be given drink or made to drink.
ungelmall a kirel el mongim; msa imelel; omngim er ngii; ungelmel.
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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
cheisechpermanent stain.cheisechstained (permanently from betel nut juice; banana juice; etc.).
teberoishin; (large, triangle-shaped) coconut candy.teberoibow-legged.
chaseborash.chasebohaving rash or prickly heat.
cheluchcoconut oil; fuel (e.g. gasoline, kerosene, diesel oil, etc.); grease (from meat being cooked).bekecheluchsmell of coconut oil.
bodechcurved configuration/shape of boat.bodechesausstanding erect/in ramrod fashion; standing with expanded chest.
iitmiss; failure.iitmiss; failure.
besbastrash; rubbish; litter; debris.besbesiileasily litter.

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
delbeseaol a rengulaimless; idle; foolish.
komeklii a rengul(person) controlling themselves; (person) holding their tongue.
olturk a rengulsatiate; make someone give up (from fatigue); get one's fill of; insult continuously or mercilessly; let someone really have it.
omal er a rengulastonish; amaze; impress; cause admiration.
ngodech er a rengulfind something strange, different or suspicious.
klou a rengulpatient; confident.
bekongesengasech a renguleasily angered; excitable.

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