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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:

cheleed, v.r.s.sewn, stitched or fixed temporarily; pushed.
cheleed a mla mecheed; chemedii a mlai, chemeed a bail, mengeed, chedel a mechut el bail.
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chelellakl, v.r.s.quieted; pacified; held or made steady; (person) quiet or unassuming.
chelellakl a kellechakl; diak el odikel, diak a uldikel er a beluu; chelellakl a belual el budech.
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cheliil, v.r.s.waited for; expected.
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dellemakl, v.r.s.(post, stick, etc.) driven into ground.
dellemakl a mla medelemakl; dechor el ultuu er a chutem; dolemeklii, dolemakl a smengt; delemeklel.
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kldibel, v.r.s.(persons) called together or assembled (typically for the purpose of a meeting or sermon).
kldibel a klideb; cheldull; chelludel.
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ulekbat, v.r.s.(something) hidden or hard to find.
ulekbat a meringel el osiik; bulis a omekbat er a olsiseb mekngit el kar er a Belau; ulekbat er a milosii a president; mla mukbat.
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uliuul, v.r.s.transferred; transported.
uliuul a mla imuul; mla moiuul; rechad el mlara telemall el mlai a uliuul er a ungil mlai; oiuelii, oliuul a rechad; oiuelel.
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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:

bemkall, v.a.s.is to be pumped.
bemkall a kirel el obomk; bemkall a ralm, memkii, momk a cheluch.
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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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debetall, v.a.s.is to be asked to pay for non-participation in work.
debetall a kirel el medbaet; mengai a delbaet er ngii, dibetii a diak lengar a urreor el beluu, melbaet er ngii, dibetel.
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dekedokel, v.a.s.is to be covered.
dekedokel a kirel el medekedek; kelel a meteet a dekedokel, dokedekii er a keai, dokedek.
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ongengetall, v.a.s.is to be lowered or demoted; is to be held or kept back.
ongengetall a kirel el mo er eou; mo er a uriul; monganget, mesaik a ongengetall a ududel el mo rredemelel a urrereel; ongengetel.
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otebengall, v.a.s.is to be placed on raised surface.
otebengall a kirel el motab; oltab er a remeleboteb, otebengii e merolung, otebengel.
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otuull, v.a.s.is to be carried on the back or held behind the back.
otuull a kirel el motour; oturii a ngalek, otour a babier, ngalek a otuull, oturel.
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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
ngikelfish.bekengikelsmell of fish.
mechasold woman; titled woman; foreign woman; male's father's sisters; girlfriend; wife.mechasold woman; titled woman; foreign woman; male's father's sisters; girlfriend; wife.
bikodelhives or rash from allergies; allergic reaction affecting the skin.bikodelbroken out in hives.
kobengodelvery strong current.kobengodelvery strong current.
chudelgrass.chudelgrassy.
kobesossea horse.kobesos (head) long, narrow or pointed.
rirfallen leaves of kebui.merirthe color yellow.

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
meses a rengulindustrious; diligent.
bebeot a rengulrather undecided about something; not taking something too seriously.
mengedidai er a rengul act stubbornly, scornfully or condescendingly.
mimokl a rengulbroad-minded.
mekikngit a rengulfeel rather sad or sorry about; rather mean or inconsiderate.
melaok a renguladulterous; acquisitive.
telecherakl a rengulstubborn; obsessed; determined.

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