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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:

bliis, v.r.s.(page) turned.
bliis a mla obiis; miis, babier a bliis, omiis, bisel a babier.
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blusekl, v.r.s.covered with someone's legs while sleeping.
blusekl a mla obusekl; museklii, musekl, omusekl.
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deluis, v.r.s.removed; extracted.
deluis a mla meduis; mla motobed; duiesii, dmuis a semum, meluis a delsangel.
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llechang, v.r.s.put; taken.
llechang a mla melechang; mla mo mechei; lochang, kles er aklechedaol a llechang; mla mong.
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nglader, v.r.s.sent or seen off; returned; sent back; (bride) brought to prospective husband family.
nglader a mla mengader; mla ngoderii; ngelekel a nglader; ngederel
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ulkebekabes, v.r.s.hanging or dangling continually.
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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:

besebesechall, v.a.s.is to be continually contradicted/opposed.
besebesechall a kirel el obosech; mesechii, torebengii, omesebosech er ngii.
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chebingel, v.a.s.(fruit) is to be picked or plucked.
chebingel a kirel el mechib; chibngii,chuib, meradel a chebingel, chebngel.
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cherematel, v.a.s.is to be washed or pumped out.
cherematel a kirel el mecherumet; mengatech, churemetii, churumet a ollumel, cheremetel.
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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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dechersall, v.a.s.(penis) is to be made erect.
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smengtall, v.a.s.is to be cemented.
smengtall a kirel el mesmengt; simengtii, simengt a rael; smengtel.
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ukdengesall, v.a.s.is to be made full or satisfied.
ukdengesall a kirel el mukdinges; mekelii el mo medinges; mo diak el sengerenger; mekdengesii, omekdinges er ngii; ulekdengesel.
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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
riklbold/violent behavior.meriklbold; violent; restless.
besokelringworm.besokelinfected with ringworm.
kemangetlength (of string, etc.) which exceeds what is needed or expected.kemangettall; long (in time or dimension).
kodalldeath.diak a kodelleleternal; everlasting.
bidokelhives.bidokelhives.
bausmell; odor; scent.bekebau(cooked meat or fish, cooking pot, etc.) foul-smelling.
koltgold.koltgold.

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
rengul a diokangstarch.
ngelem a rengulsmart; clever; having a retentive memory.
rrou a rengulsuddenly confused or perplexed.
mekikngit a rengulfeel rather sad or sorry about; rather mean or inconsiderate.
obais a rengulget fed up with; become unable to cope with.
turk a rengulturk
rengulhis/her/its heart; spirit; feeling; soul; seat of emotions.

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