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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:

blisekl, v.r.s.permitted to do something, but grudgingly.
blisekl a blid, omisekl e meruul a diak el soal, bliseklel.
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bluks, v.r.s.(spearhead) pounded and flattened; (lips = ngor) pursed.
bluks a mla obuks; bluks a ngerel, chelisngull, meksii, beksel a ngerel.
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chelalb, v.r.s.(outer surface of betel nut fiber) stripped off; (wood) whittled.
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chelsekl, v.r.s.cooked with spices.
chelsekl a mla mechesekl; kall el delul er a bebul a deel; choseklii, chosekl a diokang, mengesekl, cheseklel.
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uldoud, v.r.s.given money; paid.
uldoud a mla mudoud; uldoud er a demal; mla ngmai a ududel; mdudii; mildudii; ududel.
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ulekedurs, v.r.s.laid, put or knocked down; put to bed.
ulekedurs a mla mokedurs; mla mo mechiuaiu; rengalek a ulekedurs er a blai.
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ulekerreu, v.r.s.(person or animal) taken care of or protected; obeyed; cared about; respected; obedient.
ulekerreu a klaubeltik el reng; kelatk, omecheliu a rechad; omekerreu a klauchd; ulekerreuil.
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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:

butall, v.a.s.is to be piled/heaped up.
butall a kirel el obuut; mengedidai, omuut, mutii a chutem, koididai, muut a besbas, mengudel, butel.
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chesuertall, v.a.s.is to be covered with asphalt.
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chisemesemall, v.a.s.is to be embraced or hugged.
chisemesemall a kirel el mochull; mechisemesem, mechulii a ngalek, choisemesemii a ngelekel, megisemesem er a bechil, chisemesemel.
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dengeball, v.a.s.is to be covered.
dengeball a dengobel, kirel el medangeb; melangeb er ngii, dongebii, duangeb a olekang; dengebel
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keltall, v.a.s.is to be cooled.
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redemall, v.a.s.is to have handle put on; is to be installed or attached.
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udelmall, v.a.s.(weapon) is to be aimed; is to be focused on or at.
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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.

chullrain; rainy season.chullrain; rainy season.
chemanglarge sea or mangrove crab; Samoan crab.bekechemangsmell of crabs (after cooking or eating crabs).
chermallhibiscus (bark used as a rope; leaves used as mulch for taro).chermall having vagina which lubricates quickly.
kimtype of large clam; female genitals.bekekimsmell of clams (after cleaning or cooking clams).
kltombluntness; dullness.ketom(knife, etc) blunt or dull.
kullcyst; tumor.kullcyst; tumor.

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:

turk a rengulturk
komeklii a rengul(person) controlling themselves; (person) holding their tongue.
mekurt a rengul(someone's) feelings hurt.
songerenger a rengulhave a strong desire for; lust after.
bekongesengasech a renguleasily angered; excitable.
ukab er a rengul(something sentimental) arouses one's emotions (touch someone's figurative heart).
mesbesubed er a rengulprepare someone (psychologically) for something; pave the way for more serious discussion with someone; inform gradually or indirectly.

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