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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:

bloket, v.r.s.unwrapped; unravelled; unwound; undone; (magic spell) lifted.
bloket a blekatel; mla oboket, mla mo diak el delibuk, eketii, moket , beketel.
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chelidabel, v.r.s.hang onto with hands; hanging.
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selikes, v.r.s.(raft, canoe, etc.) poled.
selikes a mla mesikes; mlai a selikes; sikesii, smikes, melikes.
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uldaoch, v.r.s.(sea) beaten with pole; (fruit) knocked down with pole.
uldaoch a mla mudaoch; mengai, iedel a uldaoch; medochii; medaoch, bedochel.
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uldasu, v.r.s.thought about; taken into consideration.
uldasu a omdasu, omelebedebek; urrereel a rael a ngar a uldasu; udesuel a beches el skuul.
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uldoim, v.r.s.has odoim added to it; given odoim.
uldoim a ngar er ngii a odimel; uldoim a telochel, kles a uldoim; mdimii, mdoim, udimel.
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ulengesechekl, v.r.s.(pants, etc.) pulled up; moved up to particular position; praised; elevated.
ulengesechekl a ulengeriakl.
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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:

bitall, v.a.s.(sugar cane) is to be cut.
bitall a biatel; kirel el obuit, mitii, deb a bitall, omuit a deb, bitel.
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chemuul, v.a.s.about to be broken in two.
chemuul a kirel el mecham; kerrekar a chemuul; chomur, chuam a sengsongd, chemul.
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chesmerall, v.a.s.is to be closed, confined or locked in (e.g. as punishment).
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iuochel, v.a.s.is to be opened or cut open.
iuochel a kirel el meiuch; meliuch a mengur, imuich a mekebud.
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ngemekill, v.a.s.is to be climbed on.
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odengelengelall, v.a.s.is to be sent or thrown down slope; is to be sailed downwind.
odengelengelall a kirel modengelengel; odengelengel a kerrekar er a taoch.
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techeball, v.a.s.is to be removed/scraped up/cut out/uprooted.
techeball a techibel; kirel el metecheb; nguu a belsiich er a ngot, tochebii a nguu el rokir, nguu er a uchul.
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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
chemanglarge sea or mangrove crab; Samoan crab.bekechemangsmell of crabs (after cooking or eating crabs).
chadliver.chedengaolhave a large liver.
choalechsea urchin.choalech(head) having bristly hair.
chelucheb(taro or banana) leaf or bag used for covering food being cooked; type of coral which grows on top of or covers other corals.chellobelprotected; sheltered.
chadliver.chedengaolsick with jaundice.
meduumale genitals (large).meduumale genitals (large).
klukuktomorrow; the next or following day.klukuktomorrow; the next or following day.

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
diak lodengelii a rengul(person) unaware of his limitations or overestimates his abilities or overextends himself with committments.
nguibes a renguldesirous of; lusting after.
chelimimuul a rengulchelimimii a rengul
omichoech a rengul(stomach) grumble, talk or gurgle (especially from hunger); (person) feel excited.
tuobed a rengulone's real feelings come out.
sesuul a rengul(person) undecided.
rrau a rengulconfused/puzzled by/about.

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