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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:

bleng, v.r.s.covered with hand; stopped up.
bleng a mla obeng, metenget; telenget, mengir a ngerel, bleng a telil.
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blouch, v.r.s.split; cracked.
blouch a diak le cherrungel, mla obouch; bleuechel, omouch, blouch a bambuu, buchel.
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klsik, v.r.s.has a ridge or hollow passage carved in it.
klsik a chelduib; mla mecheduib, itabori a klsik.
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uldid, v.r.s.bridged.
uldid a mla mudid; ngar er ngii a did er ngii el omoachel; didil.
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ulengeseu, v.r.s.helped; assisted.
ulengeseu a a ngeso; mla mongeseu er a udoud; olengeseu er a chim; ulengeseu er a chelebuul; ulengeseuil.
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urreek, v.r.s.touched (lightly).
urreek a mla moreek; mla telkib el subechii er ngii; urekii a tonget a chelut; urreek er a tonget a mla mechut.
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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:

bengechel, v.a.s.is to be bitten.
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cheterebsall, v.a.s.is to be spun or turned.
cheterebsall a kirel el mecheterbis; choterbisur, choterbis a chebis, mengeterbis, cheterebisul.
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dengesall, v.a.s.is to be looked up at.
dengesall a omes er a bab; kirei el medanges; dongesii, dmanges a berikd el buuch, melanges er a sils; dengesel a buuch.
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liochel, v.a.s.is to have meat removed fromit.
liochel a kirel el meliich; mengai a techel er a ulekngall; lius a liochel, liechii, lmiich, lichel.
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ongokall, v.a.s.is to be whistled to.
ongokall a kirel el mongaok ongaok a ngaok, ongokel.
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redechall, v.a.s.is to be tried or aimed at blindly.
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tkael, v.a.s.is to be cut or measured.
tkael a debokl; kirel el metuk; tukur a kerrekar; duebes, tmuk, meluk a idungel; tkul a idungel.
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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
otordblunt-headed parrot fish.otordblunt-headed parrot fish.
chedeadjellyfish; nettle.chedeadjellyfish; nettle.
chemarsleak (in something like a boat or a bucket).chemarsleak (in something like a boat or a bucket).
klukuktomorrow; the next or following day.klukuk be tomorrow; be the next or following day.
kurstwitching (nervous disorder) .kurstwitching (nervous disorder) .
bobaipapaya tree (including fruit).bobaidull; slow-witted.
berdlip.berdaol (fish, people) thick-lipped.

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
cheldeng a rengulconfused; surprised; stubborn; dull-witted; slow (in understanding).
mesmesim a rengulunstable; changing one's mind easily.
teloadel a rengulindecisive.
rrou a rengulsuddenly confused or perplexed.
melekoi a renguldetermined; well-motivated; make rasping or humming sound in the lungs; make humming moise while sleeping; (cat) purr.
derengulalso, used a as friendly expression of envy.
mengedidai er a rengul act stubbornly, scornfully or condescendingly.

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