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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:

chelidadeb, v.r.s.(canoe) has curve made.
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cherrad, v.r.s.crumbled; crushed; messed up; covered with sores; unhealed; rampant.
cherrad a mla mecherad; chordengii chorad a kall; medeel er a rechad; a cherrad el kall.
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deledaes, v.r.s.(place) cleared.
deledaes a mla mededaes; medideriik; dmedesii er a mechesang, diak a chelsang, deledesel.
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rrasm, v.r.s.sewn.
rrasm a mla merasm; bilel a rrasm a rrekui; rosmii, ruasm.
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uloch, v.r.s.stepped on and crushed; crouched down.
uloch a berrotel; mechengii er a delul a chudel; uloch e omdidm er a merechorech.
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ultuil, v.r.s.laid down; lying down; dependent on.
ultuil a mla motuiil; otilii a bdelul er a tebel e olengull; ulsirs; otilel.
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urrebet, v.r.s.dropped.
urrebet a mla morebet; mla me er a eou; orrebet a mengur; orebetii, orebetel.
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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:

berudall, v.a.s.is to be torn/pulled off.
berudall a kirel el oberuud; merudii, meruud a chesimer, berudel.
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chebiball, v.a.s.is to be made round or rounded.
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debdeball, v.a.s.is to be made into a drink of coconut meat and juice.
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oibekall, v.a.s.is to be broken or smashed through.
oibekall a kirel el moiubek; tmoech er a bitang; kboub a oibekall, oibekii, oiubek, oibekel.
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uchelall, v.a.s.is to be started or begun.
uchelall a kirel el meuchel; otutall; urreor a uchelall, mechelii a omelaml; muchel, uchelel.
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ukbetengall, v.a.s.is to be made easy or cheap.
ukbetengall a kirel el mukbeot; remuul el mo beot, mekbetengii a urreor, mekbeot a char, ukbetengel.
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utiil, v.a.s.is to be put over fire; is to be put or placed; is to be pounded into ground.
utiil a ngklel a irimd. utiil a klalo el kirel el mouat; omat a irimd; melai a mekoll er a budel.
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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
kobesossea horse.kobesossea horse.
tangtikebikelsee-saw; teeter-totter.tangtikebikel(object) wobbly or in danger of falling over.
mechiechab hole.mechiechab hole.
tutaumorning; this morning.tutaube morning.
tutkwart on sole of foot; disease of kebui leaves.tutkwart on sole of foot; disease of kebui leaves.
chaseborash.chasebohaving rash or prickly heat.
telengtungdwild tamarind; lead tree.telengtungdwild tamarind; lead tree.

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
mengeokl er a rengulburden; bother; cause concern; weigh on.
omak er a rengul(person) takes the edge off (his/her) hunger.
bechelechelingaol a rengulselfish; greedy; stingy; self-centered.
blosech a rengulhaving strange feelings about; be suspicious of.
bekongesengasech a renguleasily angered; excitable.
mesisiich a rengulstrong-willed; motivated; determined; hard-working.
bebeot a rengulrather undecided about something; not taking something too seriously.

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