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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:

blii, v.r.s.divided; distributed; separated from each other; (hair) parted.
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chelemus, v.r.s.amputated; (person) having amputated limb.
chelemus a delebes; delebokl, chumsengii a chimal, chelemsengel.
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chellobel, v.r.s.protected; sheltered.
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delechel, v.r.s.increased or raised in amount.
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kerreel, v.r.s.rolled; (fish) caught with line.
kerreel a suld el mla mekereel; kerrelel.
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kldibel, v.r.s.(persons) called together or assembled (typically for the purpose of a meeting or sermon).
kldibel a klideb; cheldull; chelludel.
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telutk, v.r.s.pointed at; appointed.
telutk a nglilt; mla metutk; telutk el mo er a omerael; tutkii, ngar er basech; tetkel.
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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:

chesemall, v.a.s.(mouth) is to be wiped; (hands) are to be wiped of dirt, food, etc.
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lingall, v.a.s.is to have hole punched/opened in it.
lingall a kirel meling; bsebsall, lingir a beached; msebsii a bechad el mo lling.
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okedusall, v.a.s.is to be laid, put or knocked down; is to be put to bed.
okedusall a kirel el mokedurs; mechiuaiu, smecher a okedusall, mekedusii a ngalek, mekedurs, okedusel.
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sengeakl, v.a.s.(odoim or rice) is to be cooked or boiled in water.
sengeakl a kirel el mesengoes; odoim a sengeakl; smongosii, songoes, melengoes, sengosel.
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terebengall, v.a.s.is to be turned face or top down; is to be stopped.
terebengall a omosech; kirel el meterob; torebengii a omerael; torob a osisebel a mekngit el kar; terebengel.
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titall, v.a.s.is to be pierced (open).
titall a kirel el metit; tmit a ilumel el mengur; melit, titir, titil.
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utiil, v.a.s.is to be put over fire; is to be put or placed; is to be pounded into ground.
utiil a ngklel a irimd. utiil a klalo el kirel el mouat; omat a irimd; melai a mekoll er a budel.
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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.tengollslopping or steep (as seen from above).
singodor of sperm.besingsmell of sperm; smell unclean (esp., used in insults referring to women).
cherollbirth; birthday.ulemcheroll(woman) having already borne children.
koltgold.koltgolden.
besbastrash; rubbish; litter; debris.besbesiileasily litter.
chetaubrief rain squall.chetaubrief rain squall.
bobaipapaya tree (including fruit).bobaipapaya tree (including fruit).

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
ngodech er a rengulfind something strange, different or suspicious.
dmeu a rengulhappy; glad; joyful; appreciative.
olengasech er a rengulmake or get (someone) angry.
doaoch a rengulindecisive; fickle; inconsistent; prone to changing one's mind.
omatek er a rengul restrain ones desire to do something; keep ones desire(s) to oneself.
chetellaok a rengulchetellaok
kedidai a rengulstubborn; scornful; condescending.

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