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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:

blal, v.r.s.astonished; amazed.
blal a mla obal a rengul; mechas a rengul; ongasireng a belengel a reng.
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blechidel, v.r.s.broken off; broken into pieces.
blechidel a blached.
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blur, v.r.s.boiled before cooking; precooked; parboiled; (food which justs) needs to be reheated (before eating).
blur a mla obur; teleu a sengosel, blur el kim, mreii, mur, omur a kim, breel.
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chelsuart, v.r.s.covered with asphalt.
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selechosech, v.r.s.(solid food) bitten into; (head) to closely shorn.
selechosech a kliok; mla mesechosech; kukau a selechosech; suchesechii; klard, sechesechel a kukau.
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teluk, v.r.s.cut; measured.
teluk a delobech; mla metuk; medebes; tukur a kerrekar; tmuk a ngikel; tkul.
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uliuul, v.r.s.transferred; transported.
uliuul a mla imuul; mla moiuul; rechad el mlara telemall el mlai a uliuul er a ungil mlai; oiuelii, oliuul a rechad; oiuelel.
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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:

bekebekall, v.a.s.is to be gladdened or made happy.
bekebekall a kirel el obekebek, mekebekii a medal, rullii a rengul el mo ungil, mo diak le merur; omekebek er ngii, bekebekel.
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bengkengkall, v.a.s.is to be laid on ground.
bengkengkall a kirel el obengkangk; mengkengkii a bambuu, mengkangk a kerrekar, mo blengkangk, bengkengkel.
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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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chebiball, v.a.s.is to be made round or rounded.
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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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udedmall, v.a.s.is to be spied on or watched for carefully.
udedmall a kirel el mudidm; berrotel e mes; mdedmii a merechorech, mdidm a omerotel er a klalo, udedmel.
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utebechall, v.a.s.is to be held steady, controlled, confirmed or moored.
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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
kelebusjail, prison.kelebusjailed; in jail; (child, etc.) undergoing punishment.
chermallhibiscus (bark used as a rope; leaves used as mulch for taro).chermallcheromel
kobesossea horse.kobesos (head) long, narrow or pointed.
uidfruit that has fallen off the tree on its own.udall(fishnet) is to be pulled in.
kimtype of large clam; female genitals.bekekimsmell of clams (after cleaning or cooking clams).
teberoishin; (large, triangle-shaped) coconut candy.teberoibow-legged.
bangikoibutterfly; moth.bangikoiprone to moving from one girlfriend/boyfriend to another.

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
blekebek a rengulpleasant/nice (in personality); congenial.
oubuch a rengultreat person as if he or she were one's spouse.
merirem er a rengulhurt someone's feelings.
melemedem er a rengulcool down one's anger.
mechas a rengulbe surprised at.
cheberdil a rengulobject of one's feelings/affections.
blak a rengulhard-working; diligent; eager; attentive; interested in; intent upon; decided on; in favor of.

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