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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:

cheleuid, v.r.s.confused; mistaken; erred.
cheleuid a diak le ngii a merang; ngodech el diak lemera el rolel, mecheuid er a belsechel a skuul, cheludul.
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delbochel, v.r.s.invented; introduced; composed; (blade of tool) chipped.
delbochel a delibech; beches el merruul; ngloik a le kemeldiil a delbochel.
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delebedebek, v.r.s.thought about; remembered.
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delerrubek, v.r.s.thrust at with spear.
delerrubek a mla mederubek; babii a delerrubek er a biskang; rrumes er a biskang, derrubek, durebekii a delel.
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nglunguuch, v.r.s.prayed to.
nglunguuch a mla mengunguuch; ng nglunguuch me ng ungia rengul; ngunguchel.
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ulchau, v.r.s.(someone's glance or attention) attracted; called out to.
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ulsiseb, v.r.s.put, pushed or forced in.
ulsiseb a mla mosiseb; ultuu; ulsiseb er a urreor; mla osisebii; osiseb; osisebel.
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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:

lingall, v.a.s.is to have hole punched/opened in it.
lingall a kirel meling; bsebsall, lingir a beached; msebsii a bechad el mo lling.
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ochemill, v.a.s.(fish or tapioca) is to be tied and wrapped.
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oidall, v.a.s.is to be copied, translated or transferred.
oidall a kirel el moiuid; mutechei; chutem a oidall, oidii, oiuid a ngakl, oidel.
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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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ongtiall, v.a.s.is to be begged or asked for.
ongtiall a kirel el mongit; ongtil a udoud, ongtiall a udoud el ngeso er a reberriid er a eolt.
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terebengall, v.a.s.is to be turned face or top down; is to be stopped.
terebengall a omosech; kirel el meterob; torebengii a omerael; torob a osisebel a mekngit el kar; terebengel.
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uchetall, v.a.s.(fishing line) is to be provided with leader.
uchetall a kirel el mochaet; loia uchaet er ngii; mchetii a kereel; mechaet a chetakl, uchetel.
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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
koltgold.koltgolden.
britelshakiness; jitters.britel(person) shaky/jittery.
bisechwild taro (makes mouth itchy).bisechwild taro (makes mouth itchy).
otekliklvertical support beam for buadel whose bottom end lis on imuul.oteklikllying down with feet in air.
dechudechdirt; mud; patching material; filling (for cavity).dechudechdirt; mud; patching material; filling (for cavity).
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.
telengtungdwild tamarind; lead tree.telengtungdwoven with small weave.

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
klou a rengulpatient; confident.
mellomes a rengulsmart; diligent.
blak a rengulhard-working; diligent; eager; attentive; interested in; intent upon; decided on; in favor of.
ngemokel a renguldesirous off; lusting after.
milkolk a rengul(person is) stupid.
mesaul a rengulnot feel like.
meleolt a rengul(person) carefree or nonchalant; (person) not easily disturbed or content to let things happen as they may.

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