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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:

cheldechuul, v.r.s.fixed; arranged.
cheldechuul a mengedechuul; mengituuk el osiik a rolel el mo ungil, chodechulii me ng mo er a skuul, chudechuul.
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chelderoder, v.r.s.put together or into order; arranged.
chelderoder a mla mechederoder choderoder a babier, chederderel a babier, ungil el blechobech.
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klboub, v.r.s.(house) walled.
klboub a klbokb; mla mekboub; ngar er ngii a kboub, kibekbii, kiboub, kbekbel.
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selakt, v.r.s.(raft) made; (logs, etc.) tied side by side.
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telukouk, v.r.s.foreskin pulled down.
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ulad, v.r.s.(rope) made out of coconut cord.
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ulecheuekl, v.r.s.held or put behind one; hidden.
ulecheuekl a ngar a mocheuekl; meringel el moues; blik a ulecheuekl.
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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:

berekekill, v.a.s.is to be swallowed.
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btengetall, v.a.s.is to be sanded, smoothed or polished.
btengetall a kirel el obtanget, toluk a btengetall, mtengetii a toluk, btengetel a chesiuch.
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chesobel, v.a.s.(taro tubers) are to be cut.
chesobel a kirel el mecheseb; cheklii a tech er a dait, chosebii, chueseb a dait, chesebel.
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dengesall, v.a.s.is to be looked up at.
dengesall a omes er a bab; kirei el medanges; dongesii, dmanges a berikd el buuch, melanges er a sils; dengesel a buuch.
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ekill, v.a.s.is to be separated/disassociated (from).
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osichall, v.a.s.(nut, screw) is to be tightened.
osichall a kirel el mosiich, osiich a seraub, osichii a rengul er a soal el kall, osichel.
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sechesall, v.a.s.is to be pecked 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.

Palauan_NounEngish_NounPalauan_AdjEnglish_Adj
singodor of sperm.besingsmell of sperm; smell unclean (esp., used in insults referring to women).
brotechclapping; wooden paddle used as war weapon; applause; praise.bekebrotechprone to slapping.
cheballwhite-leafed taro (yautia); gray/white hair.cheballgray-haired; white-haired.
otekliklvertical support beam for buadel whose bottom end lis on imuul.oteklikllying down with feet in air.
meduumale genitals (large).meduumale genitals (large).
bausmell; odor; scent.bekebausmell of vagina.
ngikelfish.bekengikelsmell of fish.

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
diak lodengelii a rengul(person) unaware of his limitations or overestimates his abilities or overextends himself with committments.
klsbengel a rengulanger.
melemed a rengulcool down one's anger.
smuuch a rengul(person) calm/placid.
olengasech er a rengulmake or get (someone) angry.
bekesbesebek a renguleasily worried; worrisome.
mengurs er a rengulattract.

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