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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:

cheldereder, v.r.s.explained.
cheldereder a selaod; mla mechedereder me ng medengei;. chederderel.
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delekull, v.r.s.buried.
delekull a mla medakl er a chutem, doklii, dmakl, deklel a beldokel.
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klisem, v.r.s.chopped with clam-shell axe.
klisem a ungil el chelduib; mla mekisem; delasech el mo meaiu; sumes a klisem er a ebakl el kim.
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uldaoch, v.r.s.(sea) beaten with pole; (fruit) knocked down with pole.
uldaoch a mla mudaoch; mengai, iedel a uldaoch; medochii; medaoch, bedochel.
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uldikel, v.r.s.made to move/shake; (person) made active.
uldikel a ouedikel; mengidebtib; mengitengtik; uldikel er a rengalek cholechotel a bedengir el mesisiich
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ulekedelad, v.r.s.carried or transmitted with care; (person or animal) spoiled.
ulekedelad a ungil el kldmokl; diak el terrekakl; ngalek a ungil el ulekedelad a okerulel; mla mukedelad.
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ultour, v.r.s.carried on the back; held behind the back.
ultour a ngar a ulk; mla motour; mla oturii a ngelekel; cheleoch el ngalek a ultour, oltour er a til; oturel.
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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:

bsebsall, v.a.s.is to be drilled; (ear) is to be pierced.
bsebsall a kirel el obsibs, lingir, msebsii a kerrekar, bsebsel a ding.
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chesbungel, v.a.s.is to be scooped or spooned out.
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chesmerall, v.a.s.is to be closed, confined or locked in (e.g. as punishment).
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ldaol, v.a.s.(woman) is to have sexual intercourse.
ldaol a ldall.
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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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tuidel, v.a.s.is to be cut lengthwise or down the middle.
tuidel a kirel metiud; meliud er ngii; tiuedii a bobai; tmiud a brak, tudel.
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usechemall, v.a.s.is to be grabbed with the fist.
usechemall a kirel el musechem; mla moreked, diak momsechem er a diak el ududem.
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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
H.O.(abbrev.) Babeldaob (used pejoratively).H.O.(abbrev.) Babeldaob (used pejoratively).
uidfruit that has fallen off the tree on its own.udallis to be glued or pasted.
rasechblood.rasechblood.
chemarsleak (in something like a boat or a bucket).chemars(boat, bucket, etc.) leaky; leaking.
ureorwork; job; task.bekureorwork a lot; hard-working; diligent.
besokelringworm.besokelinfected with ringworm.
cherollbirth; birthday.ulemcheroll(woman) having already borne children.

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
kekere a renguluncomfortable; impatient.
uldellomel a rengulresponsible; purposeful; mature.
mengas er a rengulastonished; surprised.
mengurt a rengulhurt (feelings); make (someone) despair.
seitak a rengul(person is) very choosy; picky.
mekikngit a rengulfeel rather sad or sorry about; rather mean or inconsiderate.
checherd a rengulimpatient; fed up with.

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