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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:

cherritem, v.r.s.having had a sticky substance applied.
cherritem a mla mecheritem; chirtemii, cherritem er a chutem, mengesechusem er a medal el oba chas, chertemel.
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selang, v.r.s.cut diagonally; held at angle.
selang a delebes el cherresokl; klengabel, delobech el diak le melemalt; bambuu a selang me ng kedorem; sengal.
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telikm, v.r.s.(mouth) stuffed.
telikm a mui; ulekeek, mla metikm; tikmii a ngerel er a kall; tuikm a ngerir; melikm, tekmel.
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telinget, v.r.s.plugged (at one end).
telinget a telenget; mla metinget; melinget a butiliang, tminget a dingal; tngetel; delangeb.
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telirem, v.r.s.hit against; (pot, dish etc.) chipped.
telirem a telkib el telemall; telkib el mekngit; tiremii a medal; teremel a reng.
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telit, v.r.s.pierced (open).
telit a blsibs; mla metit; titir a ilumel; tmit a mengur; melit, titil a ilumel.
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ulkibetiekl, v.r.s.startled; scared; surprised.
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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:

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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koesengall, v.a.s.(plants) are to be fertilized.
koesengall a kirel el mekoeas; locha ramek; koesengii, mengoeas er ngii.
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ngedall, v.a.s.is to be seen/sent off; is to be returned/sent back; (bride) is to be brought to prospective husband's family.
ngedall a kirel mengader; ngedall er a blil a chebechiil; ngoderii a ngelekel; merader a lleng el olekang; ngederel.
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okesioll, v.a.s.is to be copied or imitated or made the same.
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orebetall, v.a.s.is to be dropped.
orebetall a kirel el morebet; orebet a mengur; orebetii, orebetel.
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tebidal, v.a.s.(lantern etc.) is to be turned on

 

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
chadman; person; human being; living being; someone; somebody; anyone; anybody.chadliver.
brakgiant yellow swamp taro.brakhaving a vagina which stays dry during sexual intercourse.
chimhand; arm; front paws (of animal); help; assistance; manual labor; person sent to help.chimempty-handed.
mechasold woman; titled woman; foreign woman; male's father's sisters; girlfriend; wife.mechascoconut at later stage (between medecheduch and metau) when shell blackens and husk turns yellowish brown.
chelechedsmall sea crab.chelechedhusked.
secheleifriend; companion; boyfriend; girlfriend; lover; term of address from a woman to a group of people.bekesecheleifriendly; having many friends.
kelebusjail, prison.kelebusjailed; in jail; (child, etc.) undergoing punishment.

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
ngodech er a rengulfind something strange, different or suspicious.
bletengel a rengulnonchalance; laziness.
kie a rengul calm down; stop worrying.
diak a rengulinconsiderate; impolite.
orreked er a rengulrestrain or control (oneself) (esp., from showing anger).
rrau a rengulconfused/puzzled by/about.
mimokl a rengulbroad-minded.

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