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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:

chaibibeob, v.r.s.round; circular; (sl.) ok or all right.
chaibibeob a ibeob, chaibibeobel tebel, chelibeob el belatong; bleob a diak a bkul.
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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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chelimkomk, v.r.s.covered over with (blanket, cloth, leaves, etc.).
chelimkomk a mla mechimkomk; ilebeb, delekedek er a bar, choimkemkii, choimkomk, chimkemkel.
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delik, v.r.s.supported; propped up; placed in a particular location.
delik a mla medik; loia chiull e a smecher a ultuil er ngii, dikir, dmik, smecher a delik er a dik, dkel; delik a kldoel, kled, kall a delik er a tebel, dikir a tet er a ulaol, melik er a til er a ulaol.
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telacheb, v.r.s.wounded/pricked with spine of fish.
telacheb a mla metacheb; telacheb er a ngikel.
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ulechadu, v.r.s.cut with scissors; picked up with tongs.
ulechadu a mla mochadu; delebes er a ochadu, mecheduii, mechadu a mamed, ocheduel a bail.
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ulengmongm, v.r.s.lowered slowly and carefully.
ulengmongm a mla mongmongm; cheremrum a ulengmongm;. oeang er a lius a ulengmongm, ongmengmel.
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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:

chesuertall, v.a.s.is to be covered with asphalt.
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kersall, v.a.s.is to be pulled, towed or dragged.
kersall a krukl; kirel el mekurs; kursii a mlai, otemetii, kmurs a kerrekar.
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kidiball, v.a.s.are to be called together.
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kikidall, v.a.s.is to be absolved, purified or emptied.
kikidall a kirel el mekikiid; mo klikiid, mo beches, kikidii a beluu, kmikiid a blai, kikidel.
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odmall, v.a.s.is to be made to appear.
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otutall, v.a.s.(spear, gun, etc.) is to be aimed at target; (law) is to be enforced; (fire) is to be lighted; (job) is to be started; is to be hooked.
otutall a kirel el motaut; otaut a llechul a rael, otutii a ngau, llechul a rael a otutall; otutel.
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sengesall, v.a.s.is to be minced or cut.
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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
chelechedsmall sea crab.chelechedarea of shallow water (usually exposed at low tide and good for fishing).
chemanglarge sea or mangrove crab; Samoan crab.bekechemangsmell of crabs (after cooking or eating crabs).
tebekbukrayfish.tebekbuk(skin of shin) rough.
daktfear; awe.bedektallfearful; shy.
chullrain; rainy season.chullrain; rainy season.
dechuswart; mole.dechuswart; mole.
berdlip.berdaol (fish, people) thick-lipped.

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
berngel a rengulanything discouraging to one's spirit.
ukab er a rengul(something sentimental) arouses one's emotions (touch someone's figurative heart).
olsiich er a rengultake pleasure in someone else's pain, difficulties, problems, etc.
dechal a rengul perseverance; ambition; strong will.
merirem er a rengulhurt someone's feelings.
techetech a rengulstubborn; obsessed; determined.
rrau a rengulconfused/puzzled by/about.

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