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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:

klom, v.r.s.(branch of tree, betel nut, etc.) cut off.
klom a delebes; teluk, delebokl a chimal; klom a chimal.
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llemolem, v.r.s.(long object) laid down lengthwise; (work, schooling, etc.) completed; accomplished; (path, stream, etc.) followed; parallel.
llemolem a telamet; mla melemolem; lemelemel, lilemelemii a skuul a mlo er a ullebongel; llemolem a skulel, bambuu a llemolem er a rael.
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rrasm, v.r.s.sewn.
rrasm a mla merasm; bilel a rrasm a rrekui; rosmii, ruasm.
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rrisu, v.r.s.washed or rinsed off.
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selechesokl, v.r.s.(distance) jumped.
selechesokl a mla mesechesokl; mla sucheseklii; mla ridekeklii; silchesokl er ngii; melechesokl.
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ulchubel, v.r.s.spilled; bored out; (drink) poured.
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ultechei, v.r.s.changed; replaced; succeeded; abnormal; crazy.
ultechei a mla mutechei; ulengoid, omtechei; mtechir a chutem er a mlai; klok a ultechei er a klilt.
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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:

dimall, v.a.s.is to be sprayed/splashed.
dimall a kirel el mediim; duiim a dellomel, dellomel a dimall, diemii, dimel.
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ksekikl, v.a.s.(tapioca) is to be grated; (tapioca) requires grating before boiling.
ksekikl a cherduch el diokang el di kirelel meksous; diak el chedelumel.
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ochetall, v.a.s.is to be advanced past or defeated.
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oreokel, v.a.s.is to be touched (lightly).
oreokel a di moreek e tochetech; di moreek e lmangel.
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sektall, v.a.s.(raft) is to be made; (logs, etc.) are to be tied side by side.
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techelekill, v.a.s.is to be moved or pushed up and away; is to be cleared.
techelekill a kirel el metechelokl; kirel el metemotem a oreomel; melechelokl er a kedidai; rullii el mo moded; tucheleklii a chutem; techeleklel.
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tetekill, v.a.s.is to be plucked or torn off; is to be pulled at.
tetekill a kirel el metetekakl; toteklii a dui; meltekakl er ngii, totekakl a okul a ert, teteklel.
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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
chelechedsmall sea crab.chelechedarea of shallow water (usually exposed at low tide and good for fishing).
martilionghammer.martiliongclumsy; ungraceful; untalented; (person) blunt or hard-hitting (in his words).
rirfallen leaves of kebui.merirthe color yellow.
chemaiongdragonfly.chemaiong prone to moving from one boyfriend or girlfriend to another.
chiukl(singing) voice.cheiukl(person) having a good singing voice.
smuuchscorpion fish (hardly moves in water).smuuch(person) calm, placid, or unperturbed by problems or challenging circumstances.
temamuuimaginary ghost with ugly face.temamuuimaginary ghost with ugly face.

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
bletengel a rengulnonchalance; laziness.
telematel a rengulpleased; happy.
omud a rengulfed up with; exasperated; can't stand.
bekesbesib a rengulprone to sweating; easily angered; touchy.
diak lodengelii a rengul(person) unaware of his limitations or overestimates his abilities or overextends himself with committments.
chelam a rengulheartbroken.
olsarech er a rengulhold in or control emotions, anger etc.

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