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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:

blarech, v.r.s.be dipped into sauce, etc.
blarech a mla obarech; omarech, merechii, marech a chimal er a ralm, berechel.
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blur, v.r.s.boiled before cooking; precooked; parboiled; (food which justs) needs to be reheated (before eating).
blur a mla obur; teleu a sengosel, blur el kim, mreii, mur, omur a kim, breel.
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kloi, v.r.s.(boat) placed on supports.
kloi a mla mekoi; kloi a bos; ng mla ngmasech er a meched; ngar er a koi, kmongii, kmoi, kongel.
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llik, v.r.s.(bottom of pot, basket) lined with leaves.
llik a ngar er ngii a lkil; mla melik; likir a chelais, lmik a blil a kall.
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rrasm, v.r.s.sewn.
rrasm a mla merasm; bilel a rrasm a rrekui; rosmii, ruasm.
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telirem, v.r.s.hit against; (pot, dish etc.) chipped.
telirem a telkib el telemall; telkib el mekngit; tiremii a medal; teremel a reng.
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ulekiid, v.r.s.consumed; used; eaten up.
ulekiid a mla mokiid; mla mo diak; mla mekang a kall; okiid a kall me a illumel; mekikiid a blai; bechachau.
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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:

odkelall, v.a.s.is to be made to move; (person) is to be made active.
odkelall a kirel el modikel; mesaik a odkelall, odkelii; rullii el mo ouedikel; odkelel.
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okerdall, v.a.s.is to be unloaded.
okerdall a okerodel.
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orechudel, v.a.s.is to be rushed; urgent; emergency situation.
orechudel a orechedall.
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rerongel, v.a.s.(food) is to be heated so as not to spoil; (hands, etc.) are to be warmed over or next to fire.
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ririuul, v.a.s.is to be shaken.
ririuul a kirel el meririau; berikd el iedel a ririuul; ririur me ng ruebet a rdechel.
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sball, v.a.s.(ground) is to be broken, plowed or dug.
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sekesekoall, v.a.s.is to be crawled or crept over.
sekesekoall a kirel el mesekesako; melekesako er ngii; kongesachel el rael a sekesekoall.
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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
H.O.(abbrev.) Babeldaob (used pejoratively).H.O.(abbrev.) Babeldaob (used pejoratively).
ngulasthma.ngulasthma.
brotechclapping; wooden paddle used as war weapon; applause; praise.bekebrotechprone to slapping.
bausmell; odor; scent.bekebausmell of vagina.
kullcyst; tumor.kull having a cyst or tumor.
maiscorn.maisblond.
chermallhibiscus (bark used as a rope; leaves used as mulch for taro).chermallhibiscus (bark used as a rope; leaves used as mulch for taro).

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
meched a rengulthirsty; impatient; prone to overreact; (deprived and) having strong desire for.
meses a rengulindustrious; diligent.
ungil a rengulhappy; glad; kind.
kesib a rengulangry.
ilkelkel a rengulhis stupidity.
dmolech a rengulwise; prudent; careful in planning ahead.
mekeald a rengulfeel hot inside.

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