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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:

dellomel, v.r.s.planted.
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rredekekl, v.r.s.(distance) jumped.
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telechiir, v.r.s.caught with a handnet.
telechiir a nglai; mla metechiir; mla obed; ticherii a iedel, tichiir a meradel, techerel.
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telikm, v.r.s.(mouth) stuffed.
telikm a mui; ulekeek, mla metikm; tikmii a ngerel er a kall; tuikm a ngerir; melikm, tekmel.
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ulchelucheb, v.r.s.(cooking food) covered with leaf, bag, etc.
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uldor, v.r.s.shaded; sheltered.
uldor a mla mudor; ngar er ngii a blil; telenget er a chull me a sils; mderengii, uderengel.
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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:

bedechekill, v.a.s.is to be thrown down (in fighting, etc.).
bedechekill a kirel el obedechakl, medecheklii a sechelil, medecheklii, klaibedechakl, bedecheklel.
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bedull, v.a.s.is to be extracted; is to be pulled/plucked out.
bedull a kirel el obadel; diokang a bedull. medelii, madel, omadel, bedelel.
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chiuall, v.a.s.is to be read or looked at closely.
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diberdall, v.a.s.is to be laid crosswise.
diberdall kirel el medbard; diak le llemolem; mo delbard, diberdii a bambuu er a rael el melenget.
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orolall, v.a.s.(animal) is to be led; (boat, car etc.) is to be driven.
orolall a oreall, orolel.
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otechall, v.a.s.is to be pierced or drilled through.
otechall a kirel el motoech, otechii a ungil el uldasu, otoech a mederir, otechel.
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riomel, v.a.s.is to be collected or gathered and transported.
riomel a kirel el meriim; kloleklel a riomel, riemii, reuiim; ngmai el rokui el otobed; riemel.
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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
tebullswelling; earth mound.tebull a medalangry-looking.
bodechcurved configuration/shape of boat.obodechcurved; (person) having back curved towards rear.
chaseborash.chasebohaving rash or prickly heat.
chemadechcoconut sap.chemadech (plant) unripe or green; (food) raw or uncooked; be in full standing position when dancing; brand new.
bsibsdrill; termite.teribisibsfull of holes.
kelmolmaction of tickling (lightly).mekelmolmticklish; tingling; sensitive.
tutkwart on sole of foot; disease of kebui leaves.tutkwart on sole of foot; disease of kebui leaves.

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
ilkelkel a rengulhis stupidity.
betachel a rengulis to be pleased/satisfied/appeased; content.
oltamet er a rengulpull at someone's heartstrings; mean a lot to someone.
olseked er a rengulstick to something (without giving up); be firm.
rengul a kerrekarcenter/core of tree.
meleolt a rengul(person) carefree or nonchalant; (person) not easily disturbed or content to let things happen as they may.
songerenger a rengulhave a strong desire for; lust after.

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