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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:

chelaet, v.r.s.(rope; wire; fishing line; etc.) wound; (baby) cuddled.
chelaet a mla mechaet; iluodel iliud, chemetii, chemaet a ekil.
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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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selang, v.r.s.cut diagonally; held at angle.
selang a delebes el cherresokl; klengabel, delobech el diak le melemalt; bambuu a selang me ng kedorem; sengal.
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selebech, v.r.s.tried on; adjusted; equalized.
selebech a delebedabel; ungil a ildois, sobechii, suebech a omelekoi, selebech el kall a ungil el diak a delikiik.
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telemtam, v.r.s.chewed.
telemtam a mla metemtam; tomtemur a odoim; tomtam a kelel; melemtam, temtemul a kall.
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ulchau, v.r.s.(someone's glance or attention) attracted; called out to.
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ulengill, v.r.s.knocked down or off.
ulengill a mla mongill; ulengill el orebet; olengill, ongill a iedel.
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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:

chederedall, v.a.s.is to be explained.
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chesechesemall, v.a.s.is to be dirtied or smeared (with food).
chesechesemall a kirel el mechilt; mechesechusem a bedengel er a kar; chusechesechemii, chiltii, mengesechusem.
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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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otebedall, v.a.s.is to be taken out.
otebedall a kirel el motobed el mo er a kirel, otebedii er a delengchokl, otobed, otebedel.
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oterekekill, v.a.s.is to be entrusted to someone; is to be given for safekeeping; (specific time) is to be set; trustworthy.
oterekekill a kirel el moterkokl; oterkeklii a omsangel, oterekokl a blai, oterekeklel a ngalek.
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toadel, v.a.s.(sardines) are to be caught between prongs of a spear.
taodel a kirel el metaod; tmaod a mekebud, tmodii a kall, melaod, todel.
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usechemall, v.a.s.is to be grabbed with the fist.
usechemall a kirel el musechem; mla moreked, diak momsechem er a diak el ududem.
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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.

chelechedsmall sea crab.chelechedambidextrous.
chermallhibiscus (bark used as a rope; leaves used as mulch for taro).chermallhibiscus (bark used as a rope; leaves used as mulch for taro).
smuuchscorpion fish (hardly moves in water).smuuch(person) calm, placid, or unperturbed by problems or challenging circumstances.
uidfruit that has fallen off the tree on its own.udall(fishnet) is to be pulled in.
chelechedsmall sea crab.chelechedarea of shallow water (usually exposed at low tide and good for fishing).
bengtpurple colored sweet potato.bengtpurple colored sweet potato.

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:

omsa a llechul a rengulteach (someone) a lesson.
seselk a rengulbored; impatient.
telirem a rengulfeelings hurt.
telecherakl a rengulstubborn; obsessed; determined.
medecherecher a rengul stubborn; adamant; not easily swayed.
mengerar er a rengul criticise; insult; put down; make someone feel ashamed; hurt someone's feelings.
melemlim a rengulCurious, prying, snoopy, inquisitive, nosy.

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