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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:

berriid, v.r.s.scattered; spread; sown; dismantled.
berriid a diak le chelludel; mriid, rechad a berrid.
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berrober, v.r.s.snatched; grabbed; seized; (land) captured.
berrober a mla oberober; chutem a berrober er a ulecheracheb, mereberii, merober, bereberel.
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blurech, v.r.s.speared.
blurech a berruchel; mla oburech, omurech, mrechii, murech, brechel.
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chellim, v.r.s.accompanied; escorted.
deliim, v.r.s.sprayed or splashed (in one spot).
deliim a mla mediim; mla dikmesii er a daob; duiim a dellomel er a ralm, meliim, melekimes, dimel.
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uldedelid, v.r.s.(message, etc.) passed from one person to another and distorted.
uldedelid a uldelid; mla merael a betok el chim; mesei a uldedelid e merael a klaiueribech er ngii.
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ulsarech, v.r.s.pressed down; pinned onto.
ulsarech a ulsongeb er eou; mla mosarech; ngar er a ulsarechg er a oberaod; oserechii, osarech, oserechel.
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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:

chesbecheball, v.a.s.(boat) is to have boards of frame put on.
chesbecheball a kirel el mechesbocheb, morngii a chesbocheb, chosbechebii a kboub, mengesbocheb.
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ngebakel, v.a.s.is to be ironed/planed.
ngebakel a kirel el mengabek; ngobekii a bail; nguabek a kerrekar; ngebekel.
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odeseball, v.a.s.is to be relieved from pain; overwork; etc.
odeseball a kirel el modoseb; mo duoseb; oldoseb, chad a odeseball a rengul; mo ungil a rengul; odesebii, odoseb, odesebel a reng.
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okedall, v.a.s.is to be brought near.
okedall a kirel el mokeed; olekeed; okedii a ocheraol, okeed, okedel.
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olutall, v.a.s.is to be returned or sent back.
olutall a oluatel.
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orsersall, v.a.s.is to be drowned or made to sink.
orsersall a kirel el morsors, locha er a bertakl; orsersii a mechut el diall, orechorech, orsersel.
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otutuul, v.a.s.is to be suckled, nursed, given milk.
otutuul a kirel el motut; msa tul; tolechoi a otutuul, otutur, otutul.
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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
chemadechcoconut sap.chemadech (plant) unripe or green; (food) raw or uncooked; be in full standing position when dancing; brand new.
tebullswelling; earth mound.tebullbulging, hanging.
temamuuimaginary ghost with ugly face.temamuuimaginary ghost with ugly face.
smuuchscorpion fish (hardly moves in water).smuuchscorpion fish (hardly moves in water).
rubakelder; old man; chief; foreign man; boyfriend; husband.rubakhaving the qualities of an old man.
kemangetlength (of string, etc.) which exceeds what is needed or expected.kemangettall; long (in time or dimension).
chemadechcoconut sap.chemadechcoconut sap.

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
melemlim a rengulCurious, prying, snoopy, inquisitive, nosy.
ungil er a rengulfine or all right with.
ouedikel a rengulnervous; worried.
mekngit a rengulfeel sorry/sad about; mean; inconsiderate.
techetech a rengulstubborn; obsessed; determined.
ngellitel a rengulchoosy.
klikiid a renguluninvolved.

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