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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:

chelsechusem, v.r.s.dirtied or smeared (with food); involved (in a situation).
chelsechusem a bechesechusem, chusechesemii, chusechusem a chimal, chesechesemel a kall; cheisechusem a teloi er a tirudii a bank, ta er a chelsechusem er ngii.
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chelubs, v.r.s.ongraol stolen from garden, etc..
chelubs a mla mechubs; chubsii; dellomel el rrechorech er a mesei, chebsel a kukau.
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delebedebek, v.r.s.thought about; remembered.
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delub, v.r.s.bombed; dynamited; poisoned (esp., with hard drugs).
delub a mla medub; dubar, duub, melub a omriid a bad el ousbech a dub, dbal a klou el risois.
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kluld, v.r.s.pinched (with fingernails).
kluld a mla mekuld er a kuk; kmuld; ulsiu a kekul er a bedengel a chad.
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rrederd, v.r.s.stepped on; (bicycle) peddled.
rrederd a mla merderd; selarech, dellomel a rrederd er a mlai; roderd, rderdel a dellomel.
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ultekau, v.r.s.held in lap; (house) supported (by foundation, etc.).
ultekau a mla motekau; ngar er a ouach; mechas a ultekau er a ngalek, otekur, oltekau a chimal, otekul.
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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:

bengoel, v.a.s.is to be covered with hand; is to be stopped up.
bengoel a kirel el obeng; mekngit a secherel a bengoel a ngerel, omeng a er a isngel er a mekngit el bau.
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chimkemkall, v.a.s.is to be covered over with (blanket, clothes, leave, etc.); (forest) choked with vegetation (and difficult to pass through).
chimkemkall a kirel el mechimkomk; dokedekii, medekedek, imkemkii a smecher er a bar, mengimkomk, chimkemkel.
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debekill, v.a.s.is to be cursed.
debekill a kirel el medebeakl; melebeakl er ngii; kmal mekull el diak el debekill a chad, rechad.
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odengesall, v.a.s.is to be praised or honored; praiseworthy.
odengesall a kirel a chetengakl; kirel el modanges; odengesii a ungil merreder; odanges, odengesel.
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osiseball, v.a.s.is to be put, pushed or forced in.
osiseball a kirel el mosiseb; oltuu, mekull el diak el osiseball a ice er a Belau.
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uchetall, v.a.s.(fishing line) is to be provided with leader.
uchetall a kirel el mochaet; loia uchaet er ngii; mchetii a kereel; mechaet a chetakl, uchetel.
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urdechall, v.a.s.is to be buttoned/inlaid.
urdechall a kirel el murodech; locha urdechel; merdechii, mrodech a bail; urdechel.
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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.

mekealdhot water; hot drink (esp., coffee).mekeald warm; hot.
tebullswelling; earth mound.tebullswelling; earth mound.
chadman; person; human being; living being; someone; somebody; anyone; anybody.chadalive; living.
cheludechwooden float for fish net; light weight wood used to make corks.cheludech(wood) dried out (and light in weight).
berechsmell of raw fish.bekeberechsmell of the sea or raw fish.
kobengodelvery strong current.kobengodel (ocean) having very strong current.
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:

ouralmesils a rengulweak-willed.
omak er a rengul(person) takes the edge off (his/her) hunger.
mellomes a rengulsmart; diligent.
uldalem a rengulresponsible; purposeful.
bekokuii a rengulkind; generous.
ukab er a rengul(something sentimental) arouses one's emotions (touch someone's figurative heart).
telematel a rengulpleased; happy.

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