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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:

bludech, v.r.s.vomited on.
bludech a mla obudech; smecher a mla omudech; mdechii a ulaol, mudech, mdechel.
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cheldull, v.r.s.collected; assembled.
cheldull a chelludel; uldak el rokui; mla mechudel; mengudel, chedelel.
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cheluml, v.r.s.(fire) started up or kindled.
cheluml a mla mechuml; ngau a mla kmard.
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ilsechem, v.r.s.held or grasped firmly.
ilsechem a orreked; ilsechomel, isechemii a udoud, isechem a kar, isechemel.
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klderaol, v.r.s.moored with outrigger away from shore.
klderaol a ulak, mlil a omerael a klderaol er a cheldukl; koderolii, koderaol a mlai er a klemedaol; kederolel.
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klidet, v.r.s.(vine, small tree) cut with a single stroke. See mengidet.
klidet mla mekidet; delebes, teluk; mla medebes; kidetii a besebes, kmidet a dait, kdetel a dait.
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ulingatech, v.r.s.sat on and squashed; won; beaten.
ulingatech a mla moingatech; kall a ulingatech er a ulaol; ulteremed, ultorech; ngalek a oingetechii a beras; oingatech a odoim; oingetechel.
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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:

reberebekall, v.a.s.is to be groped for.
reberebekall a kirel el mereberebek; merreuaech el osiik er ngii.
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sbochel, v.a.s.(branches, etc.) are to be broken off.
sbochel a kirel el mesibech; mengai el mei er eou; rechelel a iedel a sbochel, sibechii, suibech a rachel, sbechel
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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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terekill, v.a.s.is to be destroyed/broken.
terekill a kirel meterakl; toreklii a mechut el blai; torakl a kall; tereklel.
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toadel, v.a.s.(sardines) are to be caught between prongs of a spear.
taodel a kirel el metaod; tmaod a mekebud, tmodii a kall, melaod, todel.
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udisall, v.a.s.is to be hidden in bushes.
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ukllemesall, v.a.s.is to be brightened or enlightened.
ukllemesall a kirel el mukllomes; omekllomes; ochotii a ungil el rael; meklemesii a milkolk a rengul; mekllomes a real, uklemesel.
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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.

butgenitals; anus; vagina; bottom (surface).bekebut(woman) having large buttocks or vagina; (man) having large buttocks.
cheludechwooden float for fish net; light weight wood used to make corks.cheludechwooden float for fish net; light weight wood used to make corks.
otordblunt-headed parrot fish.otordblunt-headed parrot fish.
chemanglarge sea or mangrove crab; Samoan crab.bekechemangsmell of crabs (after cooking or eating crabs).
bausmell; odor; scent.bekebau(cooked meat or fish, cooking pot, etc.) foul-smelling.
tutkwart on sole of foot; disease of kebui leaves.tutkpointer; pole (for picking fruit).
kimtype of large clam; female genitals.bekekimsmell of clams (after cleaning or cooking clams).

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:

rengulhis/her/its heart; spirit; feeling; soul; seat of emotions.
derengulalso, used a as friendly expression of envy.
merirem er a rengulhurt someone's feelings.
omatek er a rengul restrain ones desire to do something; keep ones desire(s) to oneself.
ungil a rengulhappy; glad; kind.
meched a rengulthirsty; impatient; prone to overreact; (deprived and) having strong desire for.
mengeokl er a rengulburden; bother; cause concern; weigh on.

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