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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:

bluut, v.r.s.piled/heaped up.
bluut a beluotel, cheldull, mla obuuta chutem, muut a besbas, koididai, butel.
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chelub, v.r.s.(person) given gift or bribed; (thing) given as a gift.
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derreder, v.r.s.headed; ruled; governed.
derreder a ulekrael; cheldereder, mla medereder; mechedereder, mosisechakl, derreder me te meduch a urreor.
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selebech, v.r.s.tried on; adjusted; equalized.
selebech a delebedabel; ungil a ildois, sobechii, suebech a omelekoi, selebech el kall a ungil el diak a delikiik.
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telabd, v.r.s.skinned; scraped
telabd a telebudel; mla metabd; nglai budel; telabd el malk.
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telechelbakl, v.r.s.dived into.
telechelbakl a mla metechelbakl; te mla melechelbakl er ngii; Ngeremechiuch a techelbeklel.
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ulechem, v.r.s.(fish or tapioca) tied and wrapped.
ulechem a mla mochem; mla mechem a ngikel; odoim a ulechem el ngikel.
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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:

bertachel, v.a.s.(hands) are to be clapped; is to be slapped; deaf (i.e., has to be tapped on the back to get attention).
bertachel a kirel el obrotech; mertechii, mrotech, mechad a bertachel.
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besengall, v.a.s.is to be tied into bundle; is to be pulled vigorously or grabbed.
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selokel, v.a.s.is to be washed.
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tebetball, v.a.s.(long object) is to be divided or split into small pieces, strips, etc.
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tibechall, v.a.s.is to be touched lightly.
tibechall a kirel el metboech; tibechii a sechelil; tiboech; melboech er ngii; tibechel.
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tkekill, v.a.s.is to be propped up or supported.
tkekill a kirel el metkakl; melisakl er a blai; tukeklii, tukakl., tkeklel.
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ukchebsall, v.a.s.is to be healed.
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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
choalechsea urchin.choalech(head) having bristly hair.
sengerengerhunger; starvation.bekesengerengerget hungry easily; always getting hungry.
semumtrochus.semum having deformed fingers or toes.
mechasold woman; titled woman; foreign woman; male's father's sisters; girlfriend; wife.mechascoconut at later stage (between medecheduch and metau) when shell blackens and husk turns yellowish brown.
dechudechdirt; mud; patching material; filling (for cavity).dechudech dirty; muddy.
klukuktomorrow; the next or following day.klukuktomorrow; the next or following day.
chudelgrass.chudelgrassy.

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
medecherecher a rengul stubborn; adamant; not easily swayed.
belengel a rengulastonishment/amazement.
meched a rengulthirsty; impatient; prone to overreact; (deprived and) having strong desire for.
dmeu a rengulhappy; glad; joyful; appreciative.
seselkang a rengulbecoming bored or impatient.
olturk a rengulsatiate; make someone give up (from fatigue); get one's fill of; insult continuously or mercilessly; let someone really have it.
diak lemesim a rengulstick to one's convictions; not change one's mind.

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