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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:

blal, v.r.s.astonished; amazed.
blal a mla obal a rengul; mechas a rengui; ongasireng a belengel a reng.
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blungt, v.r.s.(hair) curled/twisted.
blungt a blengutel; bengtel a chui.
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cheleklachel, v.r.s.cleaned by shaking with water inside; shaken.
cheleklachel a mla mecheklachel; choklechelii a ilumel, choklachel, mengklachel, cheklechelel.
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telebtib, v.r.s.broken up into small pieces.
telebtib a mla metebtib; tibtib a kall; meruul el mo mekekerei; melebtib, tebtib, tbetbil.
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telmotm, v.r.s.sucked in, on or out; dredged; syphoned; kissed.
telmotm a telimd; mla metmotm; timotm a titimel; timetmii a mengur, melmotm, timetmel.
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ulecheoch, v.r.s.asked for persistently.
ulecheoch a mla mocheoch; mla mesisiich el ongtir; mla mechechii a klok er ngak; ochechel a klok.
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ulekesbas, v.r.s.littered; covered with trash.
ulekesbas a mla mukesbas; mekesbesir a mekesokes; ngar er ngii a besbas; ulekesbas el beluu a blil a rakd.
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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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chelball, v.a.s.(outer surface of betel nut fiber) is to be stripped off; (wood) is to be whittled.
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mekengall, v.a.s.is to be opened or spread apart.
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ochechall, v.a.s.is to be asked for persistently.
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okedeldaol, v.a.s.is to be carried or transmitted with care; fragile; (person, thing, matter, problem) delicate; (person, situation) requiring special care.
okedeldaol a kirel el kerekikl er ngii; mukedelad; meringel kedmekill; ngalek a okedeldaol, mekedeldar, mekedelad, okedeldal a ngalek.
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ongengedall, v.a.s.is to be lowered by sliding.
ongengedall a kirel el monganged el mei er eou; ongengedii, olenganged, ongengedel a kerrekar.
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ukdertall, v.a.s.is to be dried out.
ukedertall a kirel el mukdirt; mo diak el dekimes; mekdertii, mekdirt a bail, ukdertel a bail.
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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
maiscorn.maisblond.
chetaubrief rain squall.chetau (skin) dark.
cherouwhite mushroom; white scar.cherouwhite mushroom; white scar.
tebullswelling; earth mound.tebull a medalangry-looking.
meduumale genitals (large).meduumale genitals (large).
iluodelstones, coconut shells, or similar objects used as support for cooking pot during serving.iluodelstones, coconut shells, or similar objects used as support for cooking pot during serving.
siktcluster/bunch of fruit.berikt(tree) productive or bearing much fruit.

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
ngmasech a rengulget angry.
meleolt a rengul(person) carefree or nonchalant; (person) not easily disturbed or content to let things happen as they may.
ungial a rengulhappiness; joy.
blak a rengulhard-working; diligent; eager; attentive; interested in; intent upon; decided on; in favor of.
bebeot a rengulrather undecided about something; not taking something too seriously.
mesbesubed er a rengulprepare someone (psychologically) for something; pave the way for more serious discussion with someone; inform gradually or indirectly.
delbeseaol a rengulaimless; idle; foolish.

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