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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:

blengob, v.r.s.has had pelvis moved back and forth against it.
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chelderuar, v.r.s.stirred; agitated; mixed up; (person) stunned or temporarily disoriented (typically due to having been struck in the head); (person) drunk; intoxicated; inebriated.
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chelsbocheb, v.r.s.(boat) has boards of frame put on.
chelsbocheb a mla mechesbocheb; chosbechebii, mla melecha chosbocheb er a blai, mengesbocheb, chesbechebel.
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chelsechusem, v.r.s.dirtied or smeared (with food); involved (in a situation).
chelsechusem a bechesechusem, chusechesemii, chusechusem a chimal, chesechesemel a kall; cheisechusem a teloi er a tirudii a bank, ta er a chelsechusem er ngii.
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dellomel, v.r.s.planted.
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rrech, v.r.s.moved; readied; set in order.
rrech a kldmokl; mla mudasu; mla merech a rolel a blengur; mlil a omerael a rrech; rechul.
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ulchelochel, v.r.s.has had object come at one.
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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:

cherungall, v.a.s.is to be made whole, completed or perfected.
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odibsebsall, v.a.s.is to be filled to overflowing; is to be poured out.
odibsebsall a kirel el mokeek; mo mui; odibsebsii a ralm er a ngeliokl; subsii; odibsebsel.
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odngelall, v.a.s.is to be visited.
odngelall a kirel el modingel; odngelii a smecher, odingel a blai; odngelel; omes.
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osechesechall, v.a.s.is to be stuffed into; is to be held in narrow space.
osechesechall a kirel el mosechesech; mo medechel er a ulsechesech; osechesechii, berotel el klalo a osechesechall.
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ruikl, v.a.s.is to be divided up or distributed.
ruikl a biongel; kirel el merous; rusel a kall; ruikl er a beluu.
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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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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
lalechpus.bellachelpurulent; festering; (woman's genitals) unclean and smelly; (starchy food) too soft or slimy.
chadman; person; human being; living being; someone; somebody; anyone; anybody.chadalive; living.
ngerachelduty; responsibility.bekengerachelresponsible; always attentive to one's duties or obligations.
teberoishin; (large, triangle-shaped) coconut candy.teberoishin; (large, triangle-shaped) coconut candy.
temamuuimaginary ghost with ugly face.temamuuimaginary ghost with ugly face.
cheballwhite-leafed taro (yautia); gray/white hair.cheballgray-haired; white-haired.
rubakelder; old man; chief; foreign man; boyfriend; husband.bekerubaksmell like an old man.

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
llemesel a rengulhis/her/its intelligence.
diak lemesim a rengulstick to one's convictions; not change one's mind.
bebeot a rengulrather undecided about something; not taking something too seriously.
kikiongel a rengul(person is) obstinate/uncooperative; sullen.
derengulalso, used a as friendly expression of envy.
menglou er a rengultry to make (someone, oneself) patient; assure; take edge of one's hunger.
omai er a rengulhesitate; be unsure about.

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