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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:

blar, v.r.s.slapped in the face.
blar a mla obar; mechelebed, merngii, mar, blar a medal, berengel.
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bletech, v.r.s.having gotten thrown at; pounded; cracked.
bletech a uletech; mla obetech, mouetech, metechii a blai, metech, betechel a blai.
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bliich, v.r.s.sifted; filtered.
bliich a blibiich.
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blsibs, v.r.s.drilled; (ear) pierced.
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chelas, v.r.s.blackened with soot or ink; (pot) burned or discolored.
chelas a delul; mla mechas; chosir, chemas a ngeliokl.
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delidai, v.r.s.accompanied; braided.
delidai a mla medidai; melidai a odak a edei el kakeakl e doidai el mo tang, chui a delidai.
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ulsiaol, v.r.s.(drawer, suitcase, etc.) closed; (clothes) have seam sewn; (fire) fed; (people) incited to fight.
ulsiaol a ulsiolel; sei el mo ulsiu er ngii; a ikei el mo kaisiuekl; okul a tet a ngar er a ulsiaol.
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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:

duul, v.a.s.is to be folded/creased/bent.
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kelidel, v.a.s.is to be warmed or heated up.
kelidel a beot el mo mekeald; soal el mekeald; blai el smengt kelidel.
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kongall, v.a.s.(boat) is to be placed on supports.
kongall a kirel el mekoi; mo er a koi; mlai a kongall.
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ngemetall, v.a.s.is to be licked.
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ngodechel, v.a.s.is to be changed.
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ongkengkall, v.a.s.is to be pushed down or made fall; is to be torn down.
ongkengkall a kirel el mongkangk; ongkangk a mechut el blai el me er a chutem; ongkengkii a chutem el mei er rael; ongkengkel.
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sbedall, v.a.s.(coconut tree) is to have cut re-opened to re-initiate sap flow.
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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.

cheballwhite-leafed taro (yautia); gray/white hair.cheballwhite-leafed taro (yautia); gray/white hair.
chimhand; arm; front paws (of animal); help; assistance; manual labor; person sent to help.chimempty-handed.
mbesaoldrool; spittle.mbesaoldrool; spittle.
siktcluster/bunch of fruit.berikt(tree) productive or bearing much fruit.
smuuchscorpion fish (hardly moves in water).smuuchscorpion fish (hardly moves in water).
kimtype of large clam; female genitals.bekekimsmell of clams (after cleaning or cooking clams).

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:

melemed a rengulcool down one's anger.
obais a rengulget fed up with; become unable to cope with.
oltak er a renguldeceive oneself about being someone's sweetheart.
mekikiid a rengulunsympathetic; uncaring; uninvolved; emotionless.
mechas a rengulbe surprised at.
merat a renguldeeply disappointed or hurt.

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