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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:

blkais, v.r.s.opened; lifted open/up.
blkais a mla obkais; blok, blkais a chesimer, mkisii, mkais, bkisel.
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chelades, v.r.s.paved with stones; (stones) piled up.
chelades a mla mechades; cheldukl.
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delidui, v.r.s.peeped at; looked for.
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delirk, v.r.s.looked at in mirror.
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selenges, v.r.s.(coconut tree) tapped for sap.
selenges a mla mesenges; ilaot a selenges; songesengii; songes, sengesengel.
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telkool, v.r.s.(person) holding something in open palms.
telkool a teliko; beldoel.
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terrekakl, v.r.s.abused; not taken care of; carelessness.
terrekakl a diak el ulekedmokl; terrekakl el ngalek a diak le cheleoch; meterekakl er ngii; terrekeklel.
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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:

bdechall, v.a.s.are to be bound into sheaves/pacified.
bdechall a kirel el obudech, omudech, rullii a budech er a beluu, rullii a kltalreng er a rechad; bdechel.
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cheridall, v.a.s.is to be removed to a distance or moved away.
cheridall a kirel mo cheroid; diak le keed, choridii, choroid; babii a cheridall er a blai; cheridel.
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chesbecheball, v.a.s.(boat) is to have boards of frame put on.
chesbecheball a kirel el mechesbocheb, morngii a chesbocheb, chosbechebii a kboub, mengesbocheb.
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dbaol, v.a.s.is to be bombed or dynamited.
dbaol a kirel el medub er a dub; melub, klou el risois a dbaol, dubar, duub, omriid er ngii el oba dub.
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kdemall, v.a.s.are to be placed close together in space or time.
kdemall a kirel mo mekudem; kudemii, kuudem a sersel a merechorech, kdemel.
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tbochel, v.a.s.is to be masturbated.
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techull, v.a.s.is to be carried on the head.
techull a kirel el metuchel; kukau a techull er a mesei; tuchelii a kall; tmuchel, meluchel, techelel.
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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
bidokelhives.bidokel broken out in hives.
rekungland crab.bekerekungsmell of crabs (after cooking or eating crabs, etc.).
kikoisea clam.merikikoiwavy; bulging in places.
chaseborash.chasebohaving rash or prickly heat.
dechudechdirt; mud; patching material; filling (for cavity).dechudechdirt; mud; patching material; filling (for cavity).
kerasuschigger.kerasusbitten by chiggers.
iluodelstones, coconut shells, or similar objects used as support for cooking pot during serving.iluodel(people) sitting, standing or arranged in a circle; (stone platform) built circular.

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
blak a rengulhard-working; diligent; eager; attentive; interested in; intent upon; decided on; in favor of.
rrou a rengulsuddenly confused or perplexed.
chelam a rengulheartbroken.
cheremremangel a rengulgreedy; stingy.
mengedidai er a rengul act stubbornly, scornfully or condescendingly.
melib er a renguldecide; make up one's mind.
mengelengalek a rengul(person) mean-spirited; unfriendly; unpleasant; nasty; vengeful.

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