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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:

chelaus, v.r.s.sprinkled with lime; woven.
chelaus a mla mechaus; chemelel a chelaus, mengaus, chusel a chemachel; chousii a oruikl, chemaus a tet, chusel.
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chelub, v.r.s.(person) given gift or bribed; (thing) given as a gift.
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deliukes, v.r.s.(food) divided or shared.
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rruul, v.r.s.made; done; prepared; (person) born to or made for; (person) trained or conditioned (to do something); (person) born to or made for; (person) trained or conditioned (to do something).
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telekuau, v.r.s.carried in cupped hands.
telekuau a kall el diak el delekedek; melekuau a betok el kall a mengeberochel.
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ulengemai, v.r.s.carried; transported.
ulengemai a ulengakd; mla mongemai; olengakd a klalo; betok el omerael; olengemai; ongemil a klalo.
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ulsechesech, v.r.s.stuffed into; hidden in corner, dark, etc.; held in narrow space.
ulsechesech a berrotel; omart; osechesechii er a kosekodel; mla mosechesech a bail, osechesech, osechesechel.
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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:

cherungall, v.a.s.is to be made whole, completed or perfected.
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cheselsall, v.a.s.(chant) is to be sung.
cheselsall a kirel el mechesols; kirel el mechitakl, choselsii, chosols a cheselsir, mengesols, cheselsel.
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kemedall, v.a.s.is to be sewn up.
kemedall a kirel el mekemed; melabek a mechut el klalo; komedii a bail, kuemed, kemedel a bail.
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kudall, v.a.s.is to be dammed or delayed.
kudall a kirel el mekaud; melecha kaud, koudii a ralm, kmaud a bong, kudel.
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ngimersall, v.a.s.is to be extracted; is to be picked or pulled out.
ngimersall a kirel el mengmors; melmors a ochur; ngimersii a kot, ngimors, ngimersel.
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temetamel, v.a.s.(land etc.) is to be cleared.
temetamel a ukelall a kerrekar ngii; kirel el metemotem; tometemii, tomotem a oreomel.
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utichioll, v.a.s.is to be changed, replaced or succeeded.
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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.

chermallhibiscus (bark used as a rope; leaves used as mulch for taro).chermallhibiscus (bark used as a rope; leaves used as mulch for taro).
chemadechcoconut sap.chemadechcoconut sap.
cheludechwooden float for fish net; light weight wood used to make corks.cheludech(wood) dried out (and light in weight).
chadliver.chedengaolsick with jaundice.
temamuuimaginary ghost with ugly face.temamuubald-headed.
bausmell; odor; scent.bekebausmell of vagina.
otordblunt-headed parrot fish.otord(person) having protruding forehead.

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:

chetellaok a rengulchetellaok
sesuul a rengul(person) undecided.
mengas er a rengulastonished; surprised.
obais a rengulget fed up with; become unable to cope with.
tmurk a rengulsatiated; fed up with.
outekangel er a rengulpersevere; force (oneself) to do something.
ouuchel er a rengulregret.

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