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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:

chelemull, v.r.s.engaged in sexual relations with.
chelemull a mla moterebek, chad a mla mengemull er ngii.
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chelibiob, v.r.s.made round; rounded.
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klsik, v.r.s.has a ridge or hollow passage carved in it.
klsik a chelduib; mla mecheduib, itabori a klsik.
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selais, v.r.s.deloused.
selais a mla mesais; mla mesiik e mengai; selais a bdelul; mesei a selais me ng diak a kukau.
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telubokl, v.r.s.walked under.
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uldoim, v.r.s.has odoim added to it; given odoim.
uldoim a ngar er ngii a odimel; uldoim a telochel, kles a uldoim; mdimii, mdoim, udimel.
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ultoched, v.r.s.(spearhead) provided with barbs; jerked or pulled at.
ultoched a mla motoched; ngar ngii a techedel, mtechedii a biskang, mtoched a orus, utechedel.
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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:

bedoel, v.a.s.(ball, etc.) is to be caught; is to be grabbed.
bedoel a kirel el obed; bduu a bedoel. medir a bduu, med, omed, bedeel a bduu.
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delaol, v.a.s.is to be broiled or roasted.
delaol a kirel el medul; durur a mesekuuk, dmul a meas, ngikel a delaol.
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idesall, v.a.s.(fruit) is to be pared or shredded.
idesall a kirel el meiides; bobai a idesall, idesii a bobai, melides er ngii, idesel.
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oderukill, v.a.s.is to be sent.
oderukill a kirel el modurokl; odureklii a kall, odurokl a udoud; odureklel.
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otematel, v.a.s.is to be pulled at; is to be drawn tight/taut.
otematel a kirel el motamet, kirel el mekurs; oltamet a kerrekar, kursii, otemetii a chimal, otemetel.
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tetongel, v.a.s.is to be torn or shredded.
tetongel a tetengall.
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ukmedall, v.a.s.(debt) is to be repaid; (favor) is to be returned.
ukmedall a medal a bled el udoud me a lechub e ng klalo; techill a bled.
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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
smuuchscorpion fish (hardly moves in water).smuuch(person) calm, placid, or unperturbed by problems or challenging circumstances.
tengolldownward slope; descent.tengollslopping or steep (as seen from above).
dechudechdirt; mud; patching material; filling (for cavity).dechudechdirt; mud; patching material; filling (for cavity).
uidfruit that has fallen off the tree on its own.udallis to be glued or pasted.
ngerachelduty; responsibility.bekengerachelresponsible; always attentive to one's duties or obligations.
chedechuulknack/magical power for doing things; blueprint; plan (for house, bai, etc).chedechuulknack/magical power for doing things; blueprint; plan (for house, bai, etc).
bangikoibutterfly; moth.bangikoibutterfly; moth.

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
tmuu er a rengul(something) occurs to (person)/enters (person's) mind.
chebosech a rengulboring; dull; poor at speaking.
betachel a rengulis to be pleased/satisfied/appeased; content.
mengurt a rengulhurt (feelings); make (someone) despair.
betik a rengulhaving a deep feeling or affection for; love.
seselk a rengulbored; impatient.
ngar er a eou a rengul(person is) humble/respectful.

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