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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:

chelidadeb, v.r.s.(canoe) has curve made.
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cheliotel, v.r.s.containing squeezed coconut milk.
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chelubs, v.r.s.ongraol stolen from garden, etc..
chelubs a mla mechubs; chubsii; dellomel el rrechorech er a mesei, chebsel a kukau.
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nglubet, v.r.s.(clothes etc.) taken off; pulled out; freed; absolved.
nglubet a ngelbatel; mla mengubet; ultelechakl a nglubet er a rechorech.
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telabd, v.r.s.skinned; scraped
telabd a telebudel; mla metabd; nglai budel; telabd el malk.
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telechetech, v.r.s.distracted.
telechetech a delibech el rael er a ikrel a beluu, oreomel a outelechetech.
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ulekdechor, v.r.s.made to stand; built.
ulekdechor a mla mo dechor; mla mekedcherur; mla mekedchor a blai; okedcherul a blai.
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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:

chechall, v.a.s.(ingredients for betel nut chewing) are to be supplemented with tobacco.
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kdemall, v.a.s.are to be placed close together in space or time.
kdemall a kirel mo mekudem; kudemii, kuudem a sersel a merechorech, kdemel.
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ochebngall, v.a.s.is to be brought to surface of water.
ochebngall a kirel el mochob; mei er a bab; olechob er a mlai, ochebngii a ert el mei er a bebul a daob; ochebngel.
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oibngall, v.a.s.is to be sneaked away or hidden from.
oibngall a kirel el moiub; oudur; ngalek a oibngall, oibngii, oiub, oibngel; mengeuid er ngii.
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okodongall, v.a.s.is to be called.
okodongall a kirel el mokedong; mekedongii, mekedong; oleker
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rerongel, v.a.s.(food) is to be heated so as not to spoil; (hands, etc.) are to be warmed over or next to fire.
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riomel, v.a.s.is to be collected or gathered and transported.
riomel a kirel el meriim; kloleklel a riomel, riemii, reuiim; ngmai el rokui el otobed; riemel.
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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
kerdikyaws; framboesia.kerdikyaws; framboesia.
kekeuathlete's foot; tinea.kekeuhaving athlete's foot.
H.O.(abbrev.) Babeldaob (used pejoratively).H.O.(abbrev.) Babeldaob (used pejoratively).
bisechwild taro (makes mouth itchy).bisechwild taro (makes mouth itchy).
riamelfootball fruit (Pangi; Payan).bekeriamelsmell like football fruit; sweaty; have a strong body odor (especially, as result of diet or poor hygiene).
chetaubrief rain squall.chetau (skin) dark.
chullrain; rainy season.chullrain; rainy season.

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
mekngit a rengulfeel sorry/sad about; mean; inconsiderate.
mesubed a rengulaccept; be resigned to; learn a lesson; learn from experience.
merat a renguldeeply disappointed or hurt.
mengedecheduch er a rengulthink; say to oneself.
omud a rengulfed up with; exasperated; can't stand.
mengesib er a rengul get someone angry.
smiich a rengulfeel proud about (someone).

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