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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:

blachel, v.r.s.(firewood) split.
blachel a blechall; telutiud el mekekeriei, mla obachel, mechelii, machel a idungel.
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derredirk, v.r.s.looked scornfully at.
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telkakl, v.r.s.propped up; supported; kneeling.
telkakl a delisakl; mla metkakl me ng mesisiich; tukeklii a blai, tukakl a chimal er a tebel; tkeklel.
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telngakl, v.r.s.appeased; consoled.
telngakl a mla mengunguuch; mla metngakl; tingeklii a rengul a meltord; tngeklel a rengul er a udoud.
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uldalem, v.r.s.(weapon) aimed; focused on or at.
uldalem a mla mudalem; melemalt el bedul ngii; biskang a uldalem el kirel a uel; omdalem er ngii.
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ulekbat, v.r.s.(something) hidden or hard to find.
ulekbat a meringel el osiik; bulis a omekbat er a olsiseb mekngit el kar er a Belau; ulekbat er a milosii a president; mla mukbat.
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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:

bedechall, v.a.s.is to be picked up with fingers.
bedechall a kirel el obodech, medechii a odoim, modech a kall el olab a cheldingel.
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delemekill, v.a.s.(post, stick, etc.) is to be driven into ground.
delemekill a kirel el medelemakl; kirel mukedechor; dolemeklii er a chutem; dolemakl a smengtel a chutem, mellemakl, delemeklel.
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deoll, v.a.s.is to be nailed.
deoll a kirel el medeel; dmelii a chesimer, dmeel, meleel, blai a deoll, delel.
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deratel, v.a.s.(taro, etc.) is to be scraped; (cord, etc.) is to be cut through; (relationship) is to be broken off.
deratel a kirel medort; kukau a deratel, merort a kukau, dmort a kukau, dertel.
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kedelsall, v.a.s.is to be made thicker.
kedelsall a kirel el mo kedols; kilungii, mengedols er ngii; mo klou, kodelsii, kedelsel.
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otoel, v.a.s.is to be pressed/squeezed.
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tetongel, v.a.s.is to be torn or shredded.
tetongel a tetengall.
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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.

kelebusjail, prison.kelebusjail, prison.
chelechedsmall sea crab.chelechedarea of shallow water (usually exposed at low tide and good for fishing).
chelechelouldandruff.chelecheloulhaving dandruff.
builmoon; month.builmoon; month.
chetbaelelephantiasis.chetbael swollen from elephantiasis.
dechudechdirt; mud; patching material; filling (for cavity).dechudech dirty; muddy.

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:

meduch a rengulhard-working; conscientious; strong-willed; persevering.
oltak er a renguldeceive oneself about being someone's sweetheart.
titmekl a rengultimid; scared.
melemed a rengulcool down one's anger.
mengelengalek a rengul(person) mean-spirited; unfriendly; unpleasant; nasty; vengeful.
rrau a rengulconfused/puzzled by/about.
mengurs er a rengulattract.

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