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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:

blechit, v.r.s.extracted; extirpated.
blechit a mla obechit , mengai, mechetir, mechit a medal a ngikel.
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blidokl, v.r.s.cast or tossed (e.g. fishnet); thrown underhand (as in softball); thrown out(side); located far from others (as if tossed away).
blidokl a mla obidokl; blides, mideklii, midokl, bideklel.
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nglukl, v.r.s.transported; moved; hit; smashed into or against.
nglukl a mla mengukl; nglai el mo er a kuk ngodech; blai a nglukl el mo er a cheroid; nguklii; ngklel.
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seluis, v.r.s.(match) struck or lighted.
seluis a mla meseuis; siuesur a mases; meleuis er a seuis; siuesul.
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teluich, v.r.s.lighted; illuminated.
teluich a mla moues er a mellomes; mla metuich; tmuich a ngikel; tuiechii a medal; meluich er tir; tichel.
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uldois, v.r.s.increased; added to.
uldois a mla mudois; mla morngii a dechelel; remechitechut a obdois a blingelir er a kall; udisel a kelir.
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ulekrur, v.r.s.embarrassed.
ulekrur a mla mukrur; omekrur, mekerrengii; ulekrur a berrotel e le ng merur; rrengel.
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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:

bdesall, v.a.s.is to be thrown hard/pushed away.
bdesall a kirel el obides; mechoit, mdesii, mides a besbas, bdesel.
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rdall, v.a.s.(flowers, etc.) are to be picked.
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semesmochel, v.a.s.is to be bidden farewell or given divorce payment; is to be refused gracefully.
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techekill, v.a.s.is to be inserted (and held firmly).
techekill a kirel el metichekl; ticheklii, melichekl er ngii, ko er a delibuk; ticheklel a chui.
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temetamel, v.a.s.(land etc.) is to be cleared.
temetamel a ukelall a kerrekar ngii; kirel el metemotem; tometemii, tomotem a oreomel.
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udisall, v.a.s.is to be hidden in bushes.
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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.

chermallhibiscus (bark used as a rope; leaves used as mulch for taro).chermallPalauan money in form of green or blue glass beads.
dechudechdirt; mud; patching material; filling (for cavity).dechudechdirt; mud; patching material; filling (for cavity).
lottapeworm.lot having a tapeworm.
chadliver.chedengaolhave a large liver.
mengchongchthick betel nut fiber used for wrapping food, making rain hat, etc.chellibelmengchongchwhite; (woman) beautiful/white-skinned.
cheludechwooden float for fish net; light weight wood used to make corks.cheludech(wood) dried out (and light in weight).
otangcheek.bekotangelhave fat cheeks.

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:

ngelekel a rengulfavorite child.
medengelii a rengulregain consciousness (after a faint or stroke); (person) self-confident or self-assured; (person) knowing his abilities or capacities.
mederdirk a rengulfeel scorn for.
melib er a renguldecide; make up one's mind.
bedis a rengulinconsiderate.
kersos a rengulyearning; anxious (to see).
meleolt a rengul(person) carefree or nonchalant; (person) not easily disturbed or content to let things happen as they may.

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