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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:

blukel, v.r.s.cut or pushed down.
blukel a ulukel; mla meukel, a lius a blukel, mkelii, ukelel.
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derreder, v.r.s.headed; ruled; governed.
derreder a ulekrael; cheldereder, mla medereder; mechedereder, mosisechakl, derreder me te meduch a urreor.
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selemengt, v.r.s.cemented; (limb) in a cast.
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selibech, v.r.s.(branches, etc.) broken off.
selibech a mla mesibech; iedel a selibech a rechelel, sibechii, suibech el mei er eou; sbechel
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telemtam, v.r.s.chewed.
telemtam a mla metemtam; tomtemur a odoim; tomtam a kelel; melemtam, temtemul a kall.
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ulecheuekl, v.r.s.held or put behind one; hidden.
ulecheuekl a ngar a mocheuekl; meringel el moues; blik a ulecheuekl.
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ultour, v.r.s.carried on the back; held behind the back.
ultour a ngar a ulk; mla motour; mla oturii a ngelekel; cheleoch el ngalek a ultour, oltour er a til; oturel.
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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:

chedechedechaol, v.a.s.is to be talked about or discussed.
chedechedechaol a kirel el mo rengii a tekoi; kirel el mechedecheduch; chedechedechaol el kirel a betok el ngodech el omerellel.
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deratel, v.a.s.(taro, etc.) is to be scraped; (cord, etc.) is to be cut through; (relationship) is to be broken off.
deratel a kirel medort; kukau a deratel, merort a kukau, dmort a kukau, dertel.
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odekiaol, v.a.s.are to be added together, unified or joined.
odekiaol a kirel el modak; oldak, uldak, odekiar, odak a kakerous el uldasu; reng a odekiaol, diak lodekial el chad.
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oketmekill, v.a.s.is to be arranged or put in a proper place.
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otelochel, v.a.s.is to have something put on top of it.
otelochel a olsechall el beot el moltilech er ngii; eungel a berikd el lius a otelochel.
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tngekill, v.a.s.is to be appeased or consoled
tngekill a kirel el metngakl; kirel el mengunguuch; tingeklii a rengul a meltord; locha tngakireng; tngeklel.
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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
butgenitals; anus; vagina; bottom (surface).bekebut(woman) having large buttocks or vagina; (man) having large buttocks.
rirfallen leaves of kebui.merir(leaves) yellow.
riamelfootball fruit (Pangi; Payan).bekeriamelsmell like football fruit; sweaty; have a strong body odor (especially, as result of diet or poor hygiene).
chiukl(singing) voice.cheiukl(person) having a good singing voice.
siktcluster/bunch of fruit.berikt(tree) productive or bearing much fruit.
telengtungdwild tamarind; lead tree.telengtungdwoven with small weave.
beraomfish kept until slightly spoiled and then wrapped and barbequed.beraomfish kept until slightly spoiled and then wrapped and barbequed.

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
Rengulbaititle of chiefs in Imeliik.
melatk a rengulconsider someone's feelings.
medengelii a rengulregain consciousness (after a faint or stroke); (person) self-confident or self-assured; (person) knowing his abilities or capacities.
rengul a cheluch dregs of coconut oil.
bekesbesib a rengulprone to sweating; easily angered; touchy.
seitak a rengul(person is) very choosy; picky.
betik a rengulhaving a deep feeling or affection for; love.

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