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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:

blsuus, v.r.s.expanded; made to swell.
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nglemachel, v.r.s.in a state of having chewed betel.
nglemachel a melamech; diak a buuch me ng diak de nglemachel.
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rrenged, v.r.s.(long object) tied together; joined.
rrenged a rrengodel; llechet, mla merenged; ebakl a rrenged.
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uldeu, v.r.s.made happy; pleased.
uldeu a mla mo ungil a rengul; mla modeu a rengul, deulreng.
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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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ulekang, v.r.s.fed; made to eat.
ulekang a mla mokang; mla omengur; smecher a ulekang; mekelii, omekang er tir; okelel.
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ulsarech, v.r.s.pressed down; pinned onto.
ulsarech a ulsongeb er eou; mla mosarech; ngar er a ulsarechg er a oberaod; oserechii, osarech, oserechel.
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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:

chedelekelekall, v.a.s.is to be slapped.
chedelekelekall a kirel el obar; chodelekelekii a chetelaol, chedelekelekel.
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ngikall, v.a.s.is to be danced.
ngikall a kirel el meloik er ngii; ngera el ngloik a ngikall? karkimenai me a ngera a ngikall?
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ongmengmall, v.a.s.is to be lowered slowly and carefully.
ongmengmall a kirel el mongmongm; ongmongm a cheremrum, ongmengmel, a cheremrum.
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otechedall, v.a.s.is to be made to give up.
otechedall a kirel el motoched; otechedii, oltoched er ngii er a meringel el tekoi; rullii el tmoched, diak el ungil el otechedall a chad.
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sengdall, v.a.s.is to be combed; (chain, cord, etc.) is to broken.
sengdall a kirel el mesongd; songdii, smongd a bderrir; sengdel
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tetkall, v.a.s.is to be pointed at or appointed.
tetkall a kirel el metutk; tutkii a bobai; tmutk a mengur; tetkel.
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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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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
chermallhibiscus (bark used as a rope; leaves used as mulch for taro).chermallPalauan money in form of green or blue glass beads.
bausmell; odor; scent.bekebausmell of vagina.
chelechedsmall sea crab.chelechedhusked.
cherollbirth; birthday.ulemcheroll(woman) having already borne children.
omecherollwomb; uterus; place where animals breed; birth canal.bekecheroll(woman) fertile/having many children.
chemadechcoconut sap.chemadech (plant) unripe or green; (food) raw or uncooked; be in full standing position when dancing; brand new.
mechiechab hole.mechiechab(teeth) full of cavities.

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
mechuached a rengulevil; mean; stubborn.
ngellitel a rengulchoosy.
bekesbesib a rengulprone to sweating; easily angered; touchy.
omak er a rengul(person) takes the edge off (his/her) hunger.
keremerem a rengulstupid; ignorant.
mengaidesachel a rengulcompetitive.
meched a rengulthirsty; impatient; prone to overreact; (deprived and) having strong desire for.

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