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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:

chelebingel, v.r.s.(fruit) picked or plucked.
chelebingel a nglai; mla mechib, chibngii, chuib a buuch, mengib, chebngel
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cheliuert, v.r.s.beaten (with stick, club, etc.).
cheliuert a chellebed; mla mechiuert; mechelebed, chiuertel.
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ileakl, v.r.s.separated; separate; set apart; removed; disassociated; special.
ileakl a mla meakl; diak luldak; meleakl, ileakl a beches er a mechut, ileklel.
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telecheb, v.r.s.removed; scraped up; cut out; uprooted.
telecheb a nglai el cheroid; mla metecheb a belsiich; tuecheb a chetermall; tochebii a debsel a lius.
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telungel, v.r.s.smelled; kissed.
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ulchib, v.r.s.deflected; avoided; (teeth of saw) restored.
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uldid, v.r.s.bridged.
uldid a mla mudid; ngar er ngii a did er ngii el omoachel; didil.
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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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chedermotall, v.a.s.(water) is to be stirred or agitated.
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kesiil, v.a.s.(coconut or taro) is to be grated or scraped.
kesiil a kirel el mekes; menges a lius, kesiil a kles er a klechedaol, kosir, kmes a kles, kesil.
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ochuill, v.a.s.(someone's glance or attention) is to be attracted; is to be called out to.
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ongemekall, v.a.s.is to be pushed out with effort.
ongemekall a kirel mongemek, ongemek er a dechil; ngemekel a cheroll; ongemekii.
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osechesechall, v.a.s.is to be stuffed into; is to be held in narrow space.
osechesechall a kirel el mosechesech; mo medechel er a ulsechesech; osechesechii, berotel el klalo a osechesechall.
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selokel, v.a.s.is to be washed.
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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.

kekeuathlete's foot; tinea.kekeuathlete's foot; tinea.
bikodelhives or rash from allergies; allergic reaction affecting the skin.bikodelhives or rash from allergies; allergic reaction affecting the skin.
tutkwart on sole of foot; disease of kebui leaves.tutkwart on sole of foot; disease of kebui leaves.

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:

mereng er a rengulplease; go along with (so as not to hurt feelings).
ralmetaoch a rengulinsensitive; not easily affected; easygoing; casual; prone to avoiding responsibility.
mesbeda a rengul(person) come to realize or accept (fact, etc.).
orrechorech a rengulextremely angry; wild with anger.
bliochel a rengulsincere; open-minded.
olsarech er a rengulhold in or control emotions, anger etc.
rengul a cheluch dregs of coconut oil.

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