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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:

blkuuk, v.r.s.puffed up.
blkuuk a mla obkuuk; blsuus, seleches er a eolt, mkukii, omkuuk a blauang, bkukel.
See also:
kldibel, v.r.s.(persons) called together or assembled (typically for the purpose of a meeting or sermon).
kldibel a klideb; cheldull; chelludel.
See also:
kliis, v.r.s.(ground) dug/scratched in (by chicken); opened or unlocked; (clock, watch) wound.
kliis a mla mekiis; kliokl; debull a kliis, kiesii el mo delluchel, kmiis, mengiis, kisel a debull.
See also:
klsamd, v.r.s.(fish) choked.
klsamd a mla mekesamd; nglai a kesemdel.
See also:
nglemachel, v.r.s.in a state of having chewed betel.
nglemachel a melamech; diak a buuch me ng diak de nglemachel.
See also:
rredekekl, v.r.s.(distance) jumped.
See also:
ulsechomel, v.r.s.hiding in fear; cowering in fear; (bird with) folded wings (due to fear).
More Examples:
> That bird is cowering with folded wings.
> The boy is hiding in his house because the police are looking for him.

 

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:

bechedall, v.a.s.is to be broken off/broken into pieces.
bechedall a kirel el obached, omached er ngii; kukau a bechidel, mechedii, bechedel.
See also:
chelochall, v.a.s.is to be masturbated.
chelochall a sebechel el mechelooch; beras a chelochall.
See also:
chemekill, v.a.s.(object which is stuck) is to be freed by inserting lever and prying; (person) is to be tripped or thrown by putting lever (e.g., stick, leg) between his legs.
chemekill a kirel el mechemekl; chomeklii, chomekl a kerrekar.
See also:
ocheraol, v.a.s.is to be bought.
ocheraol a kirel el mochar; omechar a kall; skuul a ocheraol; ralm a ocheraol; mecherar, mechar, ocheral.
See also:
odikall, v.a.s.is to be banished, exiled or sent away.
odikall a kirel el modik; odikii; tuobed er a delengchokl; odik, odkikel.
See also:
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.
See also:
tuul, v.a.s.is to be heated or cooked lightly; is to be heated so as to become bendable; is to be rubbed or massaged.
See also:

 

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
cheremrumtype of sea cucumber; trepang.bekecheremrumsmell of sea cucumber.
iitmiss; failure.iitpast; over (with); finished; through.
kemangetlength (of string, etc.) which exceeds what is needed or expected.kemangetlength (of string, etc.) which exceeds what is needed or expected.
cheludechwooden float for fish net; light weight wood used to make corks.cheludech(wood) dried out (and light in weight).
klukuktomorrow; the next or following day.klukuk be tomorrow; be the next or following day.
chaziflavor, taste.chazitasty.
uidfruit that has fallen off the tree on its own.udallis to be glued or pasted.

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
chetellaok a rengulchetellaok
diak lodengelii a rengul(person) unaware of his limitations or overestimates his abilities or overextends himself with committments.
ngar er a bab a rengulconceited; disrespectful; proud; arrogant; haughty; snobbish.
meses a rengulindustrious; diligent.
ochemchuml a rengulseething inside with anger or hate.
klurt a rengul(feelings) hurt.
kedidai a rengulstubborn; scornful; condescending.

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