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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:

ilengel, v.r.s.halted or stopped from the side; headed off.
ilengel a ollumel el delasech el kerrekar, ilengel a mui er a ralm, klalo er a irechar.
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selloakl, v.r.s.grabbed at and shaken or stirred.
selloakl a mla meseloakl; mla mesalo; rrutech er a betok el chim; selloakl el kall a olsecher; soleueklii; solouakl.
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telabd, v.r.s.skinned; scraped
telabd a telebudel; mla metabd; nglai budel; telabd el malk.
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ulekbeot, v.r.s.made easy/cheap.
ulekbeot a rruul el beot; diak el meringel el urreor; urreor a ulekbeot me a rechad a meses a rengrir; ukbetengel.
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ulngamk, v.r.s.set right or straight.
ulngamk a mla mungamk; mla locha ungamk er ngii; ulngamk a omekedecheraol, ungemkel a rael.
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ultuub, v.r.s.degraded; insulted; slandered.
ultuub a mla motuub; oba el melekoi a terechedel me a klebelngul; ultuub er a rsechelil; otubel.
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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:

bechebechall, v.a.s.is to be put into straight line or row.
bechebechall a kirel el obechobech, omades er a rengalek, mechobech, mechebechii a ngloik, bechebechel.
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beremall, v.a.s.(fish) is to be allowed to spoil slightly before wrapping and barbequeing.
beremall a kirel el mukberaom, mo beraom; beremel el ngikel.
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cheklechelall, v.a.s.is to be cleaned by shaking with water inside; is to be shaken.
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kedekadel, v.a.s.is to be untied/unfastened.
kedekadel a kirel el mekedoked; mengubet, kodekedii a telechull, kodoked a delibuk, kedekedel
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kiuall, v.a.s.is to be picked with pole; is to be attracted/seduced.
kiuall a kirel el mekaiu; koiuii a iedel, kmaiu a meradel; melai er a bab el oba kaiu.
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okeradel, v.a.s.is to be lighted.
okeradel a kirel el mokard; mekerdii a olbidel; mekard, okerdel.
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orebatel, v.a.s.is to be cut down (to size).
orebatel a orebet; orrebet.
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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
kerdikyaws; framboesia.kerdikyaws; framboesia.
kurstwitching (nervous disorder) .kurstwitching.
cheolubarnacles.cheolubarnacles.
chelechedsmall sea crab.chelechedsmall sea crab.
berechsmell of raw fish.bekeberechsmell of the sea or raw fish.
bekngiukmold; (food) moldy/mildewed.bekngiukmold; (food) moldy/mildewed.
singodor of sperm.besingsmell of sperm; smell unclean (esp., used in insults referring to women).

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
mederdirk a rengulfeel scorn for.
llemesel a rengulhis/her/its intelligence.
dechal a rengul perseverance; ambition; strong will.
ulsemuul a rengul(person) humble.
selorech a rengulcondescending.
mesaul a rengulnot feel like.
ochemchuml a rengulseething inside with anger or hate.

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