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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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cherremetai, v.r.s.messed up; disarranged; confused.
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delengmes, v.r.s.respected; honored.
delengmes a mla medengmes; mla ngmai a chetengakl; mla morenges e modanges, dengmesioll a delengmes
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selasech, v.r.s.spread widely apart.
selasech a mla mesasech; mo klou, oecherek a selasech; sosechii, smasech a oeacher; sesechel.
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seluis, v.r.s.(match) struck or lighted.
seluis a mla meseuis; siuesur a mases; meleuis er a seuis; siuesul.
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serrochel, v.r.s.stepping on.
serrochel a mla mesarech; dechor er bebul; sorechii a deel, smarech, serrochel er a chetemel.
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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:

bedechall, v.a.s.is to be picked up with fingers.
bedechall a kirel el obodech, medechii a odoim, modech a kall el olab a cheldingel.
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chesuerngall, v.a.s.(face) is to be slapped; is to be slapped in the face.
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kedall, v.a.s.(sea cucumber) is to be rolled/rubbed in ashes (to remove bad-tasting outer membrane).
kedall a kirel el mekad; kmad a cheremrum, mengad a irimd, ngmai a mekool er a budel; kedil a cheremrum.
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odirekerekall, v.a.s.is to be overdone.
odirekerekall a kirel el mo direkorek; oldirekorek; oisur; betok; mo medeel, cheleberochel a uldirekorek el kall.
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otoel, v.a.s.is to be pressed/squeezed.
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tetekill, v.a.s.is to be plucked or torn off; is to be pulled at.
tetekill a kirel el metetekakl; toteklii a dui; meltekakl er ngii, totekakl a okul a ert, teteklel.
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utetkall, v.a.s.(plant) is to be supported by stick put into ground; (site of house, etc.) is to be marked with sticks and strings.
utetkall a kirel el mututk; locha ututk; mtetkii a rael, mtutk, utetkel.
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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
mudechvomit.bekemudechsmell of vomit.
iluodelstones, coconut shells, or similar objects used as support for cooking pot during serving.iluodel(people) sitting, standing or arranged in a circle; (stone platform) built circular.
besokelringworm.besokelinfected with ringworm.
berechsmell of raw fish.bekeberechsmell of the sea or raw fish.
boesgun; blowgun.sekeboesgo shooting a lot; good at shooting.
kerasuschigger.kerasusbitten by chiggers.
chermallhibiscus (bark used as a rope; leaves used as mulch for taro).chermall having vagina which lubricates quickly.

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
omai er a rengulhesitate; be unsure about.
meses a rengulindustrious; diligent.
beralm a rengullazy; unmotivated; unconcerned; uncaring.
bechecherd a rengulirascible; easily fed up with.
melekoi a renguldetermined; well-motivated; make rasping or humming sound in the lungs; make humming moise while sleeping; (cat) purr.
mesbeda a rengul(person) come to realize or accept (fact, etc.).
songerenger a rengulhave a strong desire for; lust after.

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