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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:

bltanget, v.r.s.sanded; smoothed; polished.
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bltechei, v.r.s.changed; replaced; succeeded.
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cheliroir, v.r.s.caught up with; (hair, etc.) cut to same length.
cheliroir a osisiu a klemanget; kmoir a cheiul, choiririi, cheliroir a sngoselild.
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derrau, v.r.s.(fish) caught with a hand net.
derrau a merrau a ngikel; betok el chad el dmak el merrau. .
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klsik, v.r.s.has a ridge or hollow passage carved in it.
klsik a chelduib; mla mecheduib, itabori a klsik.
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selib, v.r.s.(ground) broken, plowed or dug.
selib a mla mesib; sibur; sers a selib; mesib, sbul; ulecholo.
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teliakl, v.r.s.(cord, etc.) knotted to record date.
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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:

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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bekengall, v.a.s.is to be opened or spread apart.
bekengall a kirel el obok; mkisii, omok a medal, mekengii a chesimer, bekengel.
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bikall, v.a.s.is to be raised/outstretched.
bikall a kirel el oboik; meluoik er ngii el mo deluoik, lild a bikall.
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ngesuul, v.a.s.is to be reduced in number/subtracted.
ngesuul a kirel el mengas; melas; diak lengesuul a ulechucher el udoud, ngosur, ngmai, ngesul.
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odekiaol, v.a.s.are to be added together, unified or joined.
odekiaol a kirel el modak; oldak, uldak, odekiar, odak a kakerous el uldasu; reng a odekiaol, diak lodekial el chad.
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ongesechekill, v.a.s.(pants, etc.) are to be pulled up; is to be moved up to particular position; is to be praised or elevated.
ongesechekill a kirel el mongesechekl; rredemelel a mo er a bab; ongesecheklii, ongesecheklel.
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uderngall, v.a.s.is to be shaded or sheltered.
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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
otekliklvertical support beam for buadel whose bottom end lis on imuul.oteklikllying down with feet in air.
lottapeworm.lot having a tapeworm.
bausmell; odor; scent.bekebausmell of vagina.
mechasold woman; titled woman; foreign woman; male's father's sisters; girlfriend; wife.mechashaving the qualities of an old woman.
kemangetlength (of string, etc.) which exceeds what is needed or expected.kemangettall; long (in time or dimension).
kesaiinsufficient quantity.kesaiinsufficient; not enough; few.
singchwaist; pelvis; lower back.bekesingch

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
seitak a rengul(person is) very choosy; picky.
rrau a rengulconfused/puzzled by/about.
merat a renguldeeply disappointed or hurt.
omult er a rengulconvince; persuade.
moded a rengul(person is) easygoing/even-tempered.
mereng er a rengulplease; go along with (so as not to hurt feelings).
chelimimuul a rengulchelimimii a rengul

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