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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:

blekall, v.r.s.driven; sailed; (person) driven by desire to wander or spend time away from home.
blekall a mla obekall; mekellii a mlai, rengeasek a blekall er a ungil klebesei.
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bliis, v.r.s.(page) turned.
bliis a mla obiis; miis, babier a bliis, omiis, bisel a babier.
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chelluut, v.r.s.slapped; (eyes) smarting (from wind).
chelluut a blar; mla mecheluut; chellebed a medal, cholutii a chetelaol, choluut, uldechelakl.
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chelold, v.r.s.farted at.
chelold a mla mechold; choldii, chemold, cheldel.
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selebech, v.r.s.tried on; adjusted; equalized.
selebech a delebedabel; ungil a ildois, sobechii, suebech a omelekoi, selebech el kall a ungil el diak a delikiik.
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teliko, v.r.s.held in palm of hand.
teliko a kluoku; mla metiko; tikouii a ngelekel; tmiko a kles, meliko a babier; tekouel a ngalek.
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ulekdid, v.r.s.hereditary.
ulekdid a uldid; rruul a rolel; ngar ngii a did er ngii.
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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:

bengodel, v.a.s.is to be put or held on or against.
bengodel a kired el omenged er ngii; mengedii, omenged, kebui a bengodel er a kerrekar, bengedel.
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chesechaol, v.a.s.are to be threaded/strung; always wandering from house to house.
chesechaol a chad el soal el mengesuch; merael a blai, di omais el diak el ultebechel.
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kekuul, v.a.s.is to be pinched; having long nails or claws.
kekuul a kirel el mekuk; kukur, menguk er ngii, kmuk a otengel; diak le kekuul a ngalek.
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okeruull, v.a.s.is to be raised or cultivated.
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otematel, v.a.s.is to be pulled at; is to be drawn tight/taut.
otematel a kirel el motamet, kirel el mekurs; oltamet a kerrekar, kursii, otemetii a chimal, otemetel.
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serochel, v.a.s.is to be stepped on, toured or visited.
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udidall, v.a.s.is to be bridged.
udidall a kirel el mudid; loia did er ngii; omdid er a toachelmid; mdidar, omoachel a udidal a delebechel er a didall.
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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
chelechelouldandruff.chelechelouldandruff.
otekliklvertical support beam for buadel whose bottom end lis on imuul.oteklikllying down with feet in air.
bisechwild taro (makes mouth itchy).bisechfish with black and yellow stripes (makes mouth itchy).
ngelloklnodding; dozing (off).olengelloklnod when sleepy; doze off.
chullrain; rainy season.chullrain; rainy season.
rubakelder; old man; chief; foreign man; boyfriend; husband.rubakhaving the qualities of an old man.
rirfallen leaves of kebui.merirthe color yellow.

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
bebeot a rengulrather undecided about something; not taking something too seriously.
mekikiid a rengulunsympathetic; uncaring; uninvolved; emotionless.
mesubed a rengulaccept; be resigned to; learn a lesson; learn from experience.
selorech a rengulcondescending.
delbeseaol a rengulaimless; idle; foolish.
oba a rengulindependent; self-willed.
rrou a rengulsuddenly confused or perplexed.

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