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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:

blengob, v.r.s.has had pelvis moved back and forth against it.
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cheldecheduch, v.r.s.talked about; discussed.
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delub, v.r.s.bombed; dynamited; poisoned (esp., with hard drugs).
delub a mla medub; dubar, duub, melub a omriid a bad el ousbech a dub, dbal a klou el risois.
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llebal, v.r.s.(hands) washed/dunked in water.
llebal a mla melebal; telellib a chimal; lobal a chimal, lobelur, meleball.
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rrumes, v.r.s.poke at; (food) tested.
rrumes a chelsuches; mla merumes; kukau a rrumes, rumesii, ruumes.
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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:

chederedall, v.a.s.is to be headed/ruled/governed/explained; under someone else's power/supervision.
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debedebokel, v.a.s.is to be thought about or remembered.
debedebokel a kirel el mudasu, kirel el medebedebek a meldung el tekoi; dobedebekii, dobedebek a urreor el kirel a klengeasek.
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delaol, v.a.s.is to be broiled or roasted.
delaol a kirel el medul; durur a mesekuuk, dmul a meas, ngikel a delaol.
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okerngall, v.a.s.is to be awakened.
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sechudel, v.a.s.temporarily crippled (by muscle cramp, etc.).
sechudel a rekdel a ouach; mekngit el merael; tingoi a ochil; sechedelel.
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tebudel, v.a.s.is to be skinned/scraped.
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uklematel, v.a.s.is to be made straight.
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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.

silssun; day.bekesils(boys) smell sweaty or gamey (after perspiring in sun).
burekswelling.oburekget dyed or stained with color.
bengtpurple colored sweet potato.bengtpurple colored sweet potato.
iluodelstones, coconut shells, or similar objects used as support for cooking pot during serving.iluodel(people) sitting, standing or arranged in a circle; (stone platform) built circular.
otekliklvertical support beam for buadel whose bottom end lis on imuul.oteklikllying down with feet in air.
kemimstarfruit.mekemimsour; acidic; spoiled (from having turned sour).
iitmiss; failure.iitpast; over (with); finished; through.

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:

melemlim a rengulCurious, prying, snoopy, inquisitive, nosy.
melamet er a renguldo things as one pleases.
bekesbesib a rengulprone to sweating; easily angered; touchy.
orrechorech a rengulextremely angry; wild with anger.
mengedidai er a rengul act stubbornly, scornfully or condescendingly.
mengaidesachel a rengulcompetitive.
obais a rengulget fed up with; become unable to cope with.

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