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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:

blungt, v.r.s.(hair) curled/twisted.
blungt a blengutel; bengtel a chui.
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selang, v.r.s.cut diagonally; held at angle.
selang a delebes el cherresokl; klengabel, delobech el diak le melemalt; bambuu a selang me ng kedorem; sengal.
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telutk, v.r.s.pointed at; appointed.
telutk a nglilt; mla metutk; telutk el mo er a omerael; tutkii, ngar er basech; tetkel.
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ulechoid, v.r.s.messed up.
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ulekbat, v.r.s.(something) hidden or hard to find.
ulekbat a meringel el osiik; bulis a omekbat er a olsiseb mekngit el kar er a Belau; ulekbat er a milosii a president; mla mukbat.
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ulskosk, v.r.s.pushed vigorously.
ulskosk a mla moskosk; mla modubech; uldubech el mong; oskeskii, olskosk er ngii, oskeskel.
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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:

chuomel, v.a.s.is to be wrapped in leaves or betel nut fiber and baked.
chuomel a kirel el mechuum, chuemii, chuum a ngikel.
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dechall, v.a.s.is to be dipped or dunked.
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ochemill, v.a.s.(fish or tapioca) is to be tied and wrapped.
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ochisall, v.a.s.is to be chased away.
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ochuill, v.a.s.(someone's glance or attention) is to be attracted; is to be called out to.
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reberebekall, v.a.s.is to be groped for.
reberebekall a kirel el mereberebek; merreuaech el osiik er ngii.
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udiuul, v.a.s.is to be pulled in.
udiuul a kirel el mudai; mengurs er ngii el oba udai; omdai er ngii; telemall el ert a udiuul.
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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.

choalechsea urchin.choalech(head) having bristly hair.
sengerengerhunger; starvation.bekesengerengerget hungry easily; always getting hungry.
riamelfootball fruit (Pangi; Payan).bekeriamelsmell like football fruit; sweaty; have a strong body odor (especially, as result of diet or poor hygiene).
berechsmell of raw fish.bekeberechsmell of the sea or raw fish.
bausmell; odor; scent.bekebausmell of vagina.
bausmell; odor; scent.bekebau(cooked meat or fish, cooking pot, etc.) foul-smelling.
otekliklvertical support beam for buadel whose bottom end lis on imuul.otekliklvertical support beam for buadel whose bottom end lis on imuul.

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:

selorech a rengulcondescending.
bekesbesib a rengulprone to sweating; easily angered; touchy.
tmuu er a rengul(something) occurs to (person)/enters (person's) mind.
Rengulbaititle of chiefs in Imeliik.
mengerar er a rengul criticise; insult; put down; make someone feel ashamed; hurt someone's feelings.
ngar er a eou a rengul(person is) humble/respectful.
chelimimuul a rengulchelimimii a rengul

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