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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:

berrekakl, v.r.s.swallowed.
berrekakl a mla oberekakl; merkeklii a kelel, omerekakl, berekeklel.
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cheliraro, v.r.s.hanging; dangling.
cheliraro a telecherakl; ulekebekabes; mla mechiraro; mekebekabes, tuu a ulekabes, tuu a cheliraro.
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chelterbis, v.r.s.spun around.
chelterbis a mla mecheterebis mengeterebis, choterebisur a mesil, cheterebisul a mesil.
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delirk, v.r.s.looked at in mirror.
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telamk, v.r.s.(beard; bristles; etc.) shaved; (broom) made out of stripped coconut ribs.
telamk a mla metamk; telemikel; tuamk a chesemel; tomkii a bdelul; temkel.
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uldoim, v.r.s.has odoim added to it; given odoim.
uldoim a ngar er ngii a odimel; uldoim a telochel, kles a uldoim; mdimii, mdoim, udimel.
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ulsechem, v.r.s.grabbed with the fist.
ulsechem a mla musechem; ilsechem; orreked el mesisiich; ulsechem er a udoud, isechemii.
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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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chesuchall, v.a.s.is to be given tortoise shell money.
chesuchall a kirel el mechesiuch; chosuchii a buchelsechal, mengesiuch, msa chesuchel.
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chideball, v.a.s.is to be hung onto with hands.
chideball a kirel el mechidobel, chimal a chedam a chideball er a rengelekel, choidebelii er a demal, mengidobel, chidebelel.
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chisisall, v.a.s.are to be piled up one on top of the other.
chisisall a meleket; kirel el mechisois; choisisii, choisois a babier, mengisois er a blil, chisisel a blai.
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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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sball, v.a.s.(ground) is to be broken, plowed or dug.
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tematel, v.a.s.is to be straightened up.
tematel a smechekill; kirel el metamet; tometii a rengul; tuamet a chebirukel; temetel a cheldecheduch.
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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
kodalldeath.diak a kodelleleternal; everlasting.
mechasold woman; titled woman; foreign woman; male's father's sisters; girlfriend; wife.mechasold woman; titled woman; foreign woman; male's father's sisters; girlfriend; wife.
mengchongchthick betel nut fiber used for wrapping food, making rain hat, etc.chellibelmengchongchwhite; (woman) beautiful/white-skinned.
meduumale genitals (large).meduu(testicles) swollen; (pig) having testicles/uncastrated.
berechsmell of raw fish.bekeberechsmell of the sea or raw fish.
chadman; person; human being; living being; someone; somebody; anyone; anybody.chadman; person; human being; living being; someone; somebody; anyone; anybody.
klukuktomorrow; the next or following day.klukuk be tomorrow; be the next or following day.

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.
derengulalso, used a as friendly expression of envy.
merusech a rengulrepentant.
belalk a rengulfeel shame/fright.
delbeseaol a rengulaimless; idle; foolish.
ralmetaoch a rengulinsensitive; not easily affected; easygoing; casual; prone to avoiding responsibility.
mesbeda a rengul(person) come to realize or accept (fact, etc.).

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