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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:

bles, v.r.s.in a state of having forgotten something/having put something out of one's mind.
bles a mla obes; urriid er a omelatk, bles er a urreor, klou el bes.
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cheltachet, v.r.s.touched impurely.
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telacheb, v.r.s.wounded/pricked with spine of fish.
telacheb a mla metacheb; telacheb er a ngikel.
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telaiu, v.r.s.rubbed; smoothed over; petted.
telaiu a mla metaiu; mla toiuii a bdelul; mla tmaiu a bedengel, melaiu er ngii; tiuel a smecher.
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telebenged, v.r.s.(female) having had sexual intercourse from rear.
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telikm, v.r.s.(mouth) stuffed.
telikm a mui; ulekeek, mla metikm; tikmii a ngerel er a kall; tuikm a ngerir; melikm, tekmel.
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uldedelid, v.r.s.(message, etc.) passed from one person to another and distorted.
uldedelid a uldelid; mla merael a betok el chim; mesei a uldedelid e merael a klaiueribech er ngii.
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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:

bechekill, v.a.s.is to be made to float/let to drift.
bechekill a kirel el obechakl, ngera a kired el omechakl? becheklel.
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besiochel, v.a.s.is to be adorned/decorated.
besiochel a kired el omesiich er ngii; omesiich, mesichii er a bung, mesiich, besichel.
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kedngiil, v.a.s.is to be tamed.
kedngiil a kirel el mekedmokl el mo kedung; kudngir a ngalek, kudung, rullii el mo kedung.
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kesekakel, v.a.s.(fish) is to be caught (with long net).
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lechengaol, v.a.s.is to be put/taken.
lechengaol a kirel el modars; kles a lechengaol er a bai; loiang, lochang.
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oreokel, v.a.s.is to be touched (lightly).
oreokel a di moreek e tochetech; di moreek e lmangel.
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oterechall, v.a.s.is to be made to slip.
oterechall a rullii el mo ketiterachel; kirel el motorech; diak el oterechall a rael; otorech, oterechel.
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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
kimtype of large clam; female genitals.bekekimsmell of clams (after cleaning or cooking clams).
rechorechstealing; theft; robbery; selfishness.delibuksurechorech(knot) tied securely so as not be loosened.
ngulasthma.ngulasthma.
tedobech(one) half.tedobech(one) half.
mechasold woman; titled woman; foreign woman; male's father's sisters; girlfriend; wife.mechascoconut at later stage (between medecheduch and metau) when shell blackens and husk turns yellowish brown.
chelechedsmall sea crab.chelechedsmall sea crab.
otangcheek.bekotangelhave fat cheeks.

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
checherd a rengulimpatient; fed up with.
mengedecheduch er a rengulthink; say to oneself.
omud a rengulfed up with; exasperated; can't stand.
blotech a rengulpleased; satisfied; appeased.
mekikiid a rengulunsympathetic; uncaring; uninvolved; emotionless.
diak lodengelii a rengul(person) unaware of his limitations or overestimates his abilities or overextends himself with committments.
kngtil a rengul(someone's) being mean or feeling sad or frustrated.

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