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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:

berrotech, v.r.s.(hands) clapped; (face, body, etc.) slapped.
berrotech a mla obrotech; mrotech a chimal, mertechii, omrotech, bertechel.
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chelabl, v.r.s.carried under arm.
chelabl a chelebill; mla mechabl, choblii a ngalek, chuabl a babier er ngi, cheblel.
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chelterbis, v.r.s.spun around.
chelterbis a mla mecheterebis mengeterebis, choterebisur a mesil, cheterebisul a mesil.
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klit, v.r.s.pressed with fingers and massaged; pressed against surface with fingers; softened; (fruit) soft (after hitting ground).
klit a mla mekit; ulet, blet a techel, kmit, ulkel a klit me ng meringel, kitir.
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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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uleketmokl, v.r.s.arranged; put in proper place; neat, well-organized.
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uliitel, v.r.s.(liquid) poured (into container).
uliitel a mla moitel; mla mochubel; ilumel a uliitel er a kob; oitelii a ralm; oitel a ilumel; olechubel; oitelel.
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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:

bechetall, v.a.s.is to be extracted or extirpated.
bechetall a kirel el obechit, kirel el motobed, mechetir, medal ngikel a bechetall.
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chebill, v.a.s.to be carried under the arm.
chebill a kiukuall; kirel el mechabl; choblii a ngalek; chuabl, a ngalek a chebill; cheblel.
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ngkedall, v.a.s.(fine) is to be paid.
ngkedall a kirel el nguu a nguked; kirel a odanges; msa ngkedel.
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odermeremall, v.a.s.is to be pushed or forced (under water, into ground, etc.).
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ongchengchall, v.a.s.is to be dropped down from tree; (restriction) is to be removed.
ongchengchall a kirel el mongchongch; ongchengchii a bul er a uel; mo diak a bul el telkib, ongchengchel.
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riomel, v.a.s.is to be collected or gathered and transported.
riomel a kirel el meriim; kloleklel a riomel, riemii, reuiim; ngmai el rokui el otobed; riemel.
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tematel, v.a.s.is to be straightened up.
tematel a smechekill; kirel el metamet; tometii a rengul; tuamet a chebirukel; temetel a cheldecheduch.
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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
tengolldownward slope; descent.tengolldownward slope; descent.
iitmiss; failure.iitpast; over (with); finished; through.
chedechuulknack/magical power for doing things; blueprint; plan (for house, bai, etc).chedechuulingenious; clever; inventive.
bodechcurved configuration/shape of boat.obodechcurved; (person) having back curved towards rear.
otordblunt-headed parrot fish.otord(person) having protruding forehead.
mechiechab hole.mechiechab(teeth) full of cavities.
burachedskin disease in which white spots spread over body.burachedskin disease in which white spots spread over body.

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
kedidai a rengulstubborn; scornful; condescending.
melekoi a renguldetermined; well-motivated; make rasping or humming sound in the lungs; make humming moise while sleeping; (cat) purr.
merechorech a rengulselfish; greedy; stingy.
belalk a rengulfeel shame/fright.
mengesib er a rengul get someone angry.
oltak er a renguldeceive oneself about being someone's sweetheart.
melemed a rengulcool down one's anger.

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