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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:

klum, v.r.s.baked in the ground.
klum a kall el ulekmark er a chelsel a chutem; mengum, klum el babii.
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klumech, v.r.s.(blanket; etc.) spread out; (body) massaged; restored; message sent.
klumech a mesumech a tekoi el mo er a cheroid; a ika klmechel el eko er kau.
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rrumes, v.r.s.poke at; (food) tested.
rrumes a chelsuches; mla merumes; kukau a rrumes, rumesii, ruumes.
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ulekoad, v.r.s.killed.
ulekoad a uleldechelakl; okoad.
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ulsarech, v.r.s.pressed down; pinned onto.
ulsarech a ulsongeb er eou; mla mosarech; ngar er a ulsarechg er a oberaod; oserechii, osarech, oserechel.
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ultechakl, v.r.s.intimated; insinuated; stuck (on beach against dock, etc.) after floating ashore; staying in another house or village.
ultechakl a mla motechakl; diall a mla oberius el mei motechakl er a chelmoll; metecheklii otecheklel. Delengchokl me a lechub eng chad el mo ultuil er a ta er a delengchokl e leng chelitechetul a delengcheklel, el omid a ngamk e chui el klauchad.
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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:

kedebengall, v.a.s.is to be shortened.
kedebengall a kirel el mo kedeb; bilek a kedebengall, kodebengii a bail, mengedeb er ngii; kedebengel.
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lebeluul, v.a.s.(hands) are to be washed/dunked in water.
lebeluul a kirel el melebal; mellib; ngalek a lebeluul a chimal, lobelur, lobal, meriso, lebelul a chimal.
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lemelemall, v.a.s.(long object) is to be laid down lengthwise; (work, schooling, etc.) is to be completed; is to be accomplished; (path, stream, etc.) is to be followed.
lemelemall a kirel melemolem; diak lemeterob, urreor a lemelemall, lomelemii a urreor; lomolem, lemelemel.
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odekiaol, v.a.s.are to be added together, unified or joined.
odekiaol a kirel el modak; oldak, uldak, odekiar, odak a kakerous el uldasu; reng a odekiaol, diak lodekial el chad.
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oingetechall, v.a.s.is to be won or beaten.
oingetchall a kirel el moingatech; oingatech; diak el oingetechall a kall.
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sbochel, v.a.s.(branches, etc.) are to be broken off.
sbochel a kirel el mesibech; mengai el mei er eou; rechelel a iedel a sbochel, sibechii, suibech a rachel, sbechel
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sebochel, v.a.s.is to be tried on, adjusted or equalized.
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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
hambunghalf.hambunghalf-witted; simple-minded.
silssun; day.bekesils(boys) smell sweaty or gamey (after perspiring in sun).
idokeldirtiness; filthiness.idokel dirty; filthy.
bausmell; odor; scent.bekebausmell of vagina.
chemarsleak (in something like a boat or a bucket).chemarsleak (in something like a boat or a bucket).
kullcyst; tumor.kullcyst; tumor.
chaseborash.chasebohaving rash or prickly heat.

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
melai er a rengulpersuade.
llemesel a rengulhis/her/its intelligence.
olsebek er a rengulworry (unintentionally); startle.
blotech a rengulpleased; satisfied; appeased.
smuuch a rengul(person) calm/placid.
melemed a rengulcool down one's anger.
klurt a rengul(feelings) hurt.

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