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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:

bliochel, v.r.s.sifted; filtered; pure; unadulterated; one of specific kind.
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kliai, v.r.s.raised just above surface (but not touching); levitating.
kliai a mla mekiai; mengellael; di telkib el cheroid er a chutem a ochil; kiei el kliai a ochil er a ulaol.
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klort, v.r.s.(road, etc.) scraped.
klort a mla mekort; kortii a rael; kmort, mengort er a bebul, kertel a rael.
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selaur, v.r.s.tied together/into a bunch; bundled
selaur a mla mesaur; mla melechet, mla mesemosem, chelais a selaur; sourii, rraud, surel.
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telungel, v.r.s.smelled; kissed.
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uldechuul, v.r.s.burdened with heavy work; strained; (appetite, sleep, etc.) spoiled.
uldechuul a telemall a bedengel; uldechuul er a klakoad, mlotilech a uldechuul, oberaod el urreor a mla mdechur; uchul a secherel a uldechuul er a klakoad.
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urrekodel, v.r.s.holding or grasping for a long time.
urrekodel a urreked; orreked
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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:

bengall, v.a.s.is to be interrupted.
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besechall, v.a.s.is to be broken open, postponed, contradicted or opposed.
besechall a besebesechall. besechall a kirel el obasech; mo er a basech er a urreor, mo er a ochur, mesechii, besechel.
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dengechel, v.a.s.is to be set aside, recognized, distinguished or to be mounded.
dengechel a kirel el medangch; omuut a chutem er a uchul a iedel; dongchii a tuu er a chutem.
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dengmesall, v.a.s.is to be respected/honored.
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deromel, v.a.s.is to be sharpened.
deromel a kirel el medorm; doremii a oles; duorem a oluches, merorem, deremel.
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rengodel, v.a.s.(long objects) are to be tied together.
rengodel a kirel el merenged; rongedii a chebechiil, ungil el deleongel er a Merikel me a Belau a rengodel; rengedel.
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tebidall, v.a.s.(lantern, etc.) is to be turned on.
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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
otekliklvertical support beam for buadel whose bottom end lis on imuul.otekliklvertical support beam for buadel whose bottom end lis on imuul.
rekungland crab.bekerekungsmell of crabs (after cooking or eating crabs, etc.).
brotechclapping; wooden paddle used as war weapon; applause; praise.bekebrotechprone to slapping.
chedeadjellyfish; nettle.chedead not knowing where to go.
tebekbukrayfish.tebekbukrayfish.
tebullswelling; earth mound.tebull a medalangry-looking.
bausmell; odor; scent.bekebau(cooked meat or fish, cooking pot, etc.) foul-smelling.

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
seitak a rengul(person is) very choosy; picky.
ouedikel a rengulnervous; worried.
ilkelkel a rengulhis stupidity.
chelimimuul a rengulchelimimii a rengul
luut er a rengulanything causing one to lose one's resolve.
mesbesubed er a rengulprepare someone (psychologically) for something; pave the way for more serious discussion with someone; inform gradually or indirectly.
melechang a llechul a rengulteach (someone) a lesson.

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