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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:

blukel, v.r.s.cut or pushed down.
blukel a ulukel; mla meukel, a lius a blukel, mkelii, ukelel.
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chelibiob, v.r.s.made round; rounded.
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chelold, v.r.s.farted at.
chelold a mla mechold; choldii, chemold, cheldel.
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kellemekl, v.r.s.(breath) held; (desire) controlled or restrained.
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telberechel, v.r.s.having acted tough.
teleberechel a mekekeam; odikel; merechereched e klou a ngerel; teleberechelel.
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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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ulsiseb, v.r.s.put, pushed or forced in.
ulsiseb a mla mosiseb; ultuu; ulsiseb er a urreor; mla osisebii; osiseb; osisebel.
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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:

betkaol, v.a.s.is to be helped to carry object.
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chemekill, v.a.s.(object which is stuck) is to be freed by inserting lever and prying; (person) is to be tripped or thrown by putting lever (e.g., stick, leg) between his legs.
chemekill a kirel el mechemekl; chomeklii, chomekl a kerrekar.
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orsersall, v.a.s.is to be drowned or made to sink.
orsersall a kirel el morsors, locha er a bertakl; orsersii a mechut el diall, orechorech, orsersel.
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techekill, v.a.s.is to be inserted (and held firmly).
techekill a kirel el metichekl; ticheklii, melichekl er ngii, ko er a delibuk; ticheklel a chui.
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tekuall, v.a.s.is to be carried in cupped hands.
tekuall a kirel el metaku; tekiul; melaku, tmaku a uasech; tokuar a sub, tekuel.
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uchetall, v.a.s.(fishing line) is to be provided with leader.
uchetall a kirel el mochaet; loia uchaet er ngii; mchetii a kereel; mechaet a chetakl, uchetel.
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urdechall, v.a.s.is to be buttoned/inlaid.
urdechall a kirel el murodech; locha urdechel; merdechii, mrodech a bail; urdechel.
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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.

besbastrash; rubbish; litter; debris.besbesiileasily litter.
rubakelder; old man; chief; foreign man; boyfriend; husband.rubakelder; old man; chief; foreign man; boyfriend; husband.
teberoishin; (large, triangle-shaped) coconut candy.teberoishin; (large, triangle-shaped) coconut candy.
riklbold/violent behavior.meriklbold; violent; restless.
mechasold woman; titled woman; foreign woman; male's father's sisters; girlfriend; wife.mechasget blackened with soot or ink; (pot) get burned or discolored.
mbesaoldrool; spittle.mbesaol(person) drooling (a lot).

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:

mesubed a rengulaccept; be resigned to; learn a lesson; learn from experience.
medecherecher a rengul stubborn; adamant; not easily swayed.
ukab er a rengul(something sentimental) arouses one's emotions (touch someone's figurative heart).
ulsemuul a rengul(person) humble.
dechal a rengul perseverance; ambition; strong will.
melemed a rengulcool down one's anger.
turk a rengulturk

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