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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:

cheldermaot, v.r.s.(water) stirred or agitated.
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chelol, v.r.s.carried on the shoulder; carried away; picked up; stolen.
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rrebek, v.r.s.groped at.
rrebek a mla merebek; mla robekii a ochab el oba biskang.
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telirem, v.r.s.hit against; (pot, dish etc.) chipped.
telirem a telkib el telemall; telkib el mekngit; tiremii a medal; teremel a reng.
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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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ulengoid, v.r.s.(food) given or exchanged ceremonially; messed up; put in wrong place.
ulengoid a mla merael a betok el chim; mla mongoid a chutem; ulengoid el cheleuid a rolel; ulechoid; cheliseksikd kung; ongidii a chutem, ongoid a udoud, ongidel.
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ulngit, v.r.s.begged or asked for.
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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:

chemull, v.a.s.(fire) is to be started up or kindled.
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osisall, v.a.s.(money) is to be pawned or pledged; is to be leaned against.
osisall a kirel el mosirs; mo smirs er a kingall; osirs a biskang el mo diak el ulukel; osisel.
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riokel, v.a.s.is to be swept.
riokel a kirel el meriik; besbas a riokel; riekii a blai; remiik a besbas; rikel a rael.
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sechesechall, v.a.s.is to be stuffed; (gun) is to be cocked or set.
sechesechall a kirel mesechesech; locha kelel a boes; melechesech, sochesech a bosir, sechesechel.
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semesemall, v.a.s.is to be tied shut.
semesemall a semesamel.
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temetemuul, v.a.s.is to be chewed.
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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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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
burachedskin disease in which white spots spread over body.burachedhaving skin covered with white spots.
bobaipapaya tree (including fruit).bobaidull; slow-witted.
uidglue; resin; fuel for lamp.muduidsticky; adhesive.
bikodelhives or rash from allergies; allergic reaction affecting the skin.bikodelbroken out in hives.
brotechclapping; wooden paddle used as war weapon; applause; praise.bekebrotechprone to slapping.
kikoisea clam.kikaolhaving a large vagina.
kurstwitching (nervous disorder) .kurstwitching (nervous disorder) .

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
betachel a rengulis to be pleased/satisfied/appeased; content.
milkolk a rengul(person is) stupid.
tmuu er a rengul(something) occurs to (person)/enters (person's) mind.
olengasech er a rengulmake or get (someone) angry.
rengul a kerrekarcenter/core of tree.
derengulalso, used a as friendly expression of envy.
mengelengalek a rengul(person) mean-spirited; unfriendly; unpleasant; nasty; vengeful.

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