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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:

chelam, v.r.s.broken in two.
chelam a chelemuul; mla mecham; chomur, chuam a rachel, mengam, ochil a chelam, chemul a uach.
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cheleld, v.r.s.knocked out of breath.
cheleld a mla mecheld, chad el ruebet el metilech me ng meengel a telil; mo kedeb a telil.
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delidui, v.r.s.peeped at; looked for.
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telouch, v.r.s.(leaves, weeds etc.) cut for compost.
telouch a mla metouch; tmouch a ramek; melouch a dui, touchii, tuchel.
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uldik, v.r.s.banished; exiled; sent away.
uldik a ultobed; mla modik; mla motobed, odikii er a blai; mla dmik; odikel.
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ulkerd, v.r.s.unloaded.
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ultirakl, v.r.s.followed; pursued.
ultirakl a mla motirakl; llach a ultirakl; llach a ulengesenges er a remekedngil a beluu; otireklel a llach.
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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:

cholodall, v.a.s.is to be comforted or consoled.
cholodall a kirel el mechelaod, mengelaod.
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iuekill, v.a.s.is to be surrounded by.
iuekill a kirel el miuekl; iueklii a kurangd, meliuekl er a beluu, iueklel.
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kekesuul, v.a.s.is to be scratched (because itchy).
kekesuul a kirel el mekekas; mengkas er ngii, kukesur a mekekad, kokas a bedengel, kekesul a bedengel.
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kesiil, v.a.s.(coconut or taro) is to be grated or scraped.
kesiil a kirel el mekes; menges a lius, kesiil a kles er a klechedaol, kosir, kmes a kles, kesil.
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oridall, v.a.s.(someone's) departure is to be awaited.
oridall a kirel el moriid; mo dibus; olterau a ice a oridall er a beluu; odkikall.
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osongel, v.a.s.is to be seen or looked at.
osongel a kirel el moes; mes a ngloik, omes a ruk, smecher a mo er a osongel; osengel.
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sibesongel, v.a.s.is to be tripped or hindered.
sibesongel a olibesongel; ngii di le ngera el melibas; tetuk el kerrekar a sibesongel er a rael; mesaik el chad a sibesongel er a urreor.
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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
chelechedsmall sea crab.chelechedsmall sea crab.
diulareng(someone's) happiness/joy.dmeuhappy; glad; joyful; appreciative.
olechutellarge bamboo raftolechutel(boat, person) slow-moving
rubakelder; old man; chief; foreign man; boyfriend; husband.rubakelder; old man; chief; foreign man; boyfriend; husband.
mechasold woman; titled woman; foreign woman; male's father's sisters; girlfriend; wife.mechasget blackened with soot or ink; (pot) get burned or discolored.
cheludechwooden float for fish net; light weight wood used to make corks.cheludech(wood) dried out (and light in weight).
mengchongchthick betel nut fiber used for wrapping food, making rain hat, etc.chellibelmengchongchwhite; (woman) beautiful/white-skinned.

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
mengas er a rengulastonished; surprised.
melemedem er a rengulcool down one's anger.
bebeot a rengulrather undecided about something; not taking something too seriously.
menglou er a rengultry to make (someone, oneself) patient; assure; take edge of one's hunger.
turk a rengulturk
rengul a cheluch dregs of coconut oil.
cheremremangel a rengulgreedy; stingy.

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