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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:

blechidel, v.r.s.broken off; broken into pieces.
blechidel a blached.
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blsebosech, v.r.s.continually contradicted/opposed.
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rrodel, v.r.s.(child) adopted; (pot) lifted from fire.
rrodel a mlengai el mo ngelekel a ngodech; mla merodel; rirdelii, rrodel el ngalek.
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uldoud, v.r.s.given money; paid.
uldoud a mla mudoud; uldoud er a demal; mla ngmai a ududel; mdudii; mildudii; ududel.
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ulekbeches, v.r.s.renovated; repaired.
ulekbeches a mle mechut e meruul el mo beches; blimam a mla mukbeches; mla mekbechesur, mla mo diak el mechut; ukbechesul.
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ulekedelad, v.r.s.carried or transmitted with care; (person or animal) spoiled.
ulekedelad a ungil el kldmokl; diak el terrekakl; ngalek a ungil el ulekedelad a okerulel; mla mukedelad.
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ulekedong, v.r.s.called.
ulekedong a mla mokedong; mla oleker er ngii; beluu a ulekedong er a cheldecheduch.
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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:

bdechall, v.a.s.are to be bound into sheaves/pacified.
bdechall a kirel el obudech, omudech, rullii a budech er a beluu, rullii a kltalreng er a rechad; bdechel.
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chisemesemall, v.a.s.is to be embraced or hugged.
chisemesemall a kirel el mochull; mechisemesem, mechulii a ngalek, choisemesemii a ngelekel, megisemesem er a bechil, chisemesemel.
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chitekill, v.a.s.to be sung.
chitekill a kirel el mechitakl; choiteklii a "Belau el oba klisiich"; mengitakl er ngii.
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orebatel, v.a.s.is to be cut down (to size).
orebatel a orebet; orrebet.
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otematel, v.a.s.is to be pulled at; is to be drawn tight/taut.
otematel a kirel el motamet, kirel el mekurs; oltamet a kerrekar, kursii, otemetii a chimal, otemetel.
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sechesall, v.a.s.is to be propped open.
sechesall a kirel el mesuches; suchesii, meluches, baiong a sechesall; smuches.
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urechemall, v.a.s.is to be mixed.
urechemall a kirel murachem; omrachem a diokang er a brak, meruul a billum; urechemel.
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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).
ngikelfish.bekengikelsmell of fish.
olechutellarge bamboo raftolechutel(boat, person) slow-moving
bausmell; odor; scent.bekebausmell of vagina.
uloechspear(?).uloechspear(?).
chemaiongdragonfly.chemaiong prone to moving from one boyfriend or girlfriend to another.
builmoon; month.builmoon; month.

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
chebosech a rengulboring; dull; poor at speaking.
kekere a renguluncomfortable; impatient.
melekoi a renguldetermined; well-motivated; make rasping or humming sound in the lungs; make humming moise while sleeping; (cat) purr.
berngel a rengulanything discouraging to one's spirit.
mekikiid a rengulunsympathetic; uncaring; uninvolved; emotionless.
chelam a rengulheartbroken.
klurt a rengul(feelings) hurt.

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