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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:

chelert, v.r.s.defecated on.
chelert a mla mechert; chortii, ngar er ngii a dach er ngii; chertel.
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cheleseb, v.r.s.(taro tubers) cut.
cheleseb a mla mecheseb, chosebii, cheleseb el dait a ileakl er a kukau, mla medebes.
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chelsoim, v.r.s.turned; wound; screwed.
chelsoim a mla mechesoim; choslmii a seraub, chosoim a ralm, chesimel.
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ulat, v.r.s.put over fire; put; placed; pounded into ground.
ulat a loiang; olekang a ulat er a ingukl; ulat a btil a ungil el dengchokl; otil a olekang.
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ultengel, v.r.s.taken or brought down.
ultengel a mla motengel; ngar eou; diak lulengasech.
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ulterekokl, v.r.s.entrusted to someone; given for safekeeping; (specific time) set; sincere, real; genuine; really; surely; for sure; definitely.
ulterekokl a mla moterekokl; ultebechel el kmal ngii; mloterekokl el mengkar a chutem; oterekeklii a omerolel, oterekokl a okelel a babii er ngii; ulterekeklel.
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ultut, v.r.s.suckled; nursed.
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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:

bdesall, v.a.s.is to be thrown hard/pushed away.
bdesall a kirel el obides; mechoit, mdesii, mides a besbas, bdesel.
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bechall, v.a.s.(firewood) is to be split.
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beleball, v.a.s.is to be wound around with rope, cord, tape, etc..
beleball a kirel el obelebel; omelebel er ngii, melebelii a mesil, belebelel.
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ochisall, v.a.s.is to be emptied.
ochisall a kirel el mochis; diak el ochisall a ollumel, di kirel el ngar ngii a ilumel; ochisir a klengoes.
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ongemiil, v.a.s.is to be carried or transported.
ongemiil a kirel el mongemai; ongkdall, olngemai a kall, ongemir a ilumel el mo er a bai.
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oridall, v.a.s.(someone's) departure is to be awaited.
oridall a kirel el moriid; mo dibus; olterau a ice a oridall er a beluu; odkikall.
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osisechekill, v.a.s.is to be taught, instructed, trained.
osisechekill a kirel el mosisechakl; osisecheklii, metitur a osischekill, osisechakl el kirel a metitur; osisecheklel.
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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
mengchongchthick betel nut fiber used for wrapping food, making rain hat, etc.chellibelmengchongchwhite; (woman) beautiful/white-skinned.
kamangsickle.kamangsickle.
telengtungdwild tamarind; lead tree.telengtungdwild tamarind; lead tree.
bobaipapaya tree (including fruit).bobaipapaya tree (including fruit).
martilionghammer.martiliongclumsy; ungraceful; untalented; (person) blunt or hard-hitting (in his words).
chermallhibiscus (bark used as a rope; leaves used as mulch for taro).chermall having vagina which lubricates quickly.
lottapeworm.lottapeworm.

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
urrechomel a rengulindecisive.
rengulhis/her/its heart; spirit; feeling; soul; seat of emotions.
mengedidai er a rengul act stubbornly, scornfully or condescendingly.
kie a rengul calm down; stop worrying.
mengerar er a rengul criticise; insult; put down; make someone feel ashamed; hurt someone's feelings.
klsbengel a rengulanger.
mengesib er a rengul get someone angry.

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