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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:

chelerrumet, v.r.s.washed or pumped out.
chelerrumet a mla mecherumet; nglatech, churemetii a olekang, churumet, cheremetel.
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cheloit, v.r.s.thrown away; abandoned; discarded; (money) spent unnecessarily.
cheloit a blides; mla mechoit; choitii a mechut el mlai, chemoit a besbas.
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cheltngaid, v.r.s.made thin.
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delachel, v.r.s.(trap) set.
delachel a mla medachel; bub a delachel, delechall, melachel a bedikel er a beab, dochelii.
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deliukes, v.r.s.(food) divided or shared.
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ulsaso, v.r.s.obtained through barter or trade.
ulsaso a mla musaso; mla koreker; msesouii a delengcheklel, msaso a udoud; ulsaso a kelel; usesouel.
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ultok, v.r.s.sticking out; projecting; opposed; gone against.
ultok a mla mutok; diak loltirakl; mtekengii a llach; diak lekengei; chetil; ultok a omuchel a mekngit, mtok a telbiil; utekengel.
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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:

bekesall, v.a.s.(leg) is to be moved to walk.
bekesall a sebechel el obakes el imuu er ngii, makes, mekesii, bekesel.
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cheatel, v.a.s.(rope; wire; fishing line; etc.) is to be wound; (baby) is to be cuddled.
cheatel a kirel el mechaet; chemetii, chemaet a ekil, mengaet, chetel.
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chetimall, v.a.s.is to be smeared or spread on.
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ochisall, v.a.s.is to be chased away.
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odiderekill, v.a.s.is to be loaded into (boat, etc.).
odiderekill a kirel el modiderekl; oltak; olengasech; odiderekl er a ert, odidereklii; odidereklel.
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ongidall, v.a.s.(food) is to be given or exchanged ceremonially.
ongidall a kirel el mongoid; ongoid, diak el ongidall a chutem er a telungalek.
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tingechall, v.a.s.is to be scraped (taro etc.).
tingechall a kirel metngoech; merort a kukau; tingoech a kukau; tingechel.
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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
cheluchcoconut oil; fuel (e.g. gasoline, kerosene, diesel oil, etc.); grease (from meat being cooked).bekecheluchsmell of coconut oil.
bikodelhives or rash from allergies; allergic reaction affecting the skin.bikodelbroken out in hives.
kerdikyaws; framboesia.kerdikyaws; framboesia.
riamelfootball fruit (Pangi; Payan).bekeriamelsmell like football fruit; sweaty; have a strong body odor (especially, as result of diet or poor hygiene).
rekungland crab.bekerekungsmell of crabs (after cooking or eating crabs, etc.).
rirfallen leaves of kebui.merirthe color yellow.
chuisworm; maggot.bederechuis(starchy food) spoiled (by water); decomposing or moldy.

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
Dirrengulbaititle of feminine counterpart or assistant to chief in Imeliik.
merat a renguldeeply disappointed or hurt.
ngoaol a rengulconfronted with and perplexed by large task or responsibility.
ulsemuul a rengul(person) humble.
omeksebek er a rengulworry (deliberately).
medengelii a rengulregain consciousness (after a faint or stroke); (person) self-confident or self-assured; (person) knowing his abilities or capacities.
betachel a rengulis to be pleased/satisfied/appeased; content.

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