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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:

chelaet, v.r.s.(rope; wire; fishing line; etc.) wound; (baby) cuddled.
chelaet a mla mechaet; iluodel iliud, chemetii, chemaet a ekil.
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cheleld, v.r.s.knocked out of breath.
cheleld a mla mecheld, chad el ruebet el metilech me ng meengel a telil; mo kedeb a telil.
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rrar, v.r.s.(food) heated so as not to spoil; (hands, etc.) warmed over or next to fire.
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selaod, v.r.s.separated; explained.
selaod a lloched; mla mesaod; diak el uldak; chebechiil a selaod; rengalek me te selaod, smodii, sodel.
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tellechekl, v.r.s.put aside; cringing; inconspicuous.
tellechekl a chebecheb el chelellakl; tellechekl el meluluuch.
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ulekdubech, v.r.s.(plant) cultivated; (business, etc.) established or started.
ulekdubech a ngar ngii; di mla mukdubech; Belau a ulekdubech a skuul er ngii; klaingeseu er a ocheraol el blai a ulekdubech er a rechuodel el mei.
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ulsengerenger, v.r.s.allowed to go hungry.
ulsengerenger a blechoel el songerenger, smecher er sengerenger; ulsengerenger a sebechel el mad er a sbekekl.
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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:

chiudall, v.a.s.is to be twisted or wrung.
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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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edongel, v.a.s.is to be coaxed into doing something; is to be flattered/whetted/sharpened; easily flattered.
edongel a chad el di beot el mo oumera a diak le mera el chetengakl; edengii, edengel.
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orretall, v.a.s.is to be made to run.
orretall a kirel el morurt; skuul er a kldachelbai a orretall, orretii el mo ungil, orurt a osisechakl er a usaso, orretel.
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rebekall, v.a.s.is to be groped at.
rebekall a kirel el merebek; ochab er a chemang a rebekall; robekii el oba orebek; ruebek, rebekel.
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sisiochel, v.a.s.is to be strengthened.
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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
berechsmell of raw fish.bekeberechsmell of the sea or raw fish.
bobaipapaya tree (including fruit).bobaipapaya tree (including fruit).
kobesossea horse.kobesos (head) long, narrow or pointed.
tedobech(one) half.tedobech(one) half.
oreomelforest; woods.chereomeloreomel
telengtungdwild tamarind; lead tree.telengtungdwild tamarind; lead tree.
otordblunt-headed parrot fish.otordblunt-headed parrot fish.

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
mengedidai er a rengul act stubbornly, scornfully or condescendingly.
songerenger a rengulhave a strong desire for; lust after.
rengulhis/her/its heart; spirit; feeling; soul; seat of emotions.
blotech a rengulpleased; satisfied; appeased.
betik a rengulhaving a deep feeling or affection for; love.
becheremremangel a rengulgreedy; stingy.
cheldeng a rengulconfused; surprised; stubborn; dull-witted; slow (in understanding).

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