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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:

blitelek, v.r.s.rolled on the ground.
blitelek a mla obitelek; blengkangk, mitekelengii, mitelek, bitekelengel.
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cheluum, v.r.s.wrapped in leaves or betel nut fiber and baked.
cheluum a cheluomel el ngikel.
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delidiich, v.r.s.shined upon; lighted up.
delidiich a mla medidiich; mocholt a kotel me a chelebulel; delidiich er a meteet, melidiich er ngii; didichel.
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selloakl, v.r.s.grabbed at and shaken or stirred.
selloakl a mla meseloakl; mla mesalo; rrutech er a betok el chim; selloakl el kall a olsecher; soleueklii; solouakl.
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teluchakl, v.r.s.deflected.
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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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ulngebeet, v.r.s.pushed under water; (wick of lamp) turned down.
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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:

bretall, v.a.s.is to be shaken.
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btengetall, v.a.s.is to be sanded, smoothed or polished.
btengetall a kirel el obtanget, toluk a btengetall, mtengetii a toluk, btengetel a chesiuch.
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chemull, v.a.s.(fire) is to be started up or kindled.
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chesuall, v.a.s.(food) is to be stirred so as not to stick to pan.
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kitall, v.a.s.is to be pressed with fingers and massaged; is to be pressed against surface with fingers; is to be softened.
kitall a kirel mekit; mengit er ngii; omet el mesisiich.
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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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sudall, v.a.s.is to be erased; is to be dried or wiped off.
sudall a mesesusuud; ulechel a kim a sudall; suedii, smuud.
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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
chemaiongdragonfly.chemaiong prone to moving from one boyfriend or girlfriend to another.
kamangsickle.kamangtwisted, crippled.
bikodelhives or rash from allergies; allergic reaction affecting the skin.bikodelbroken out in hives.
bausmell; odor; scent.bekebausmell of vagina.
ureorwork; job; task.bekureorwork a lot; hard-working; diligent.
smuuchscorpion fish (hardly moves in water).smuuchscorpion fish (hardly moves in water).
otekliklvertical support beam for buadel whose bottom end lis on imuul.oteklikllying down with feet in air.

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
ngar er a bab a rengulconceited; disrespectful; proud; arrogant; haughty; snobbish.
melamet er a renguldo things as one pleases.
milkolk a rengul(person is) stupid.
mengelengalek a rengul(person) mean-spirited; unfriendly; unpleasant; nasty; vengeful.
seselkang a rengulbecoming bored or impatient.
uldalem a rengulresponsible; purposeful.
rrou a rengulsuddenly confused or perplexed.

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