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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:

bldaoch, v.r.s.(sea) beaten with pole; (fruit) knocked down with pole.
bldaoch a mla obedaoch; nglai, medaoch, medochii, a iedel a bldaoch; bedochel.
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cheliud, v.r.s.twisted; wrung out.
cheliud a ngklel a ta er a bedengel a rrellel a dekool, melamech a cheliud.
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delsbai, v.r.s.spat out or at.
delsbai a mla medesbai; mla metub, telub, dusbir a ulaol, kesib a rengul a melsbai a klalo, desbil.
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rrodech, v.r.s.tried or aimed at blindly; tricked into giving information.
rrodech a mla merodech; rodechii mla medangch.
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ulekdubech, v.r.s.(plant) cultivated; (business, etc.) established or started.
ulekdubech a ngar ngii; di mla mukdubech; Belau a ulekdubech a skuul er ngii; klaingeseu er a ocheraol el blai a ulekdubech er a rechuodel el mei.
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ulekedurs, v.r.s.laid, put or knocked down; put to bed.
ulekedurs a mla mokedurs; mla mo mechiuaiu; rengalek a ulekedurs er a blai.
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ultom, v.r.s.poked or stuck out.
ultom a mla motom; otemii a medal; ochotii a medal er a seked; otom a mederir, otemengel.
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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:

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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chebsuul, v.a.s.is to be spun.
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dekull, v.a.s.is to be buried.
dekull a kirel el medakl; doklii, dmakl, ulekoad a dekull, melakl er ngii er a chutem; deklel.
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ngodechel, v.a.s.is to be changed.
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redemall, v.a.s.is to have handle put on; is to be installed or attached.
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serechall, v.a.s.is to be cleansed/bathed in hot water.
serechall a serochel; kirel el mesarech, smarech a cheluib el mo toluk, serechel a cheluib.
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techiall, v.a.s.(anus) is to be wiped.
techiall a kirel el metechui; mesuld a but; tuchiur, tuchui, melechui, techiall a btil a ngalek.
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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
riamelfootball fruit (Pangi; Payan).bekeriamelsmell like football fruit; sweaty; have a strong body odor (especially, as result of diet or poor hygiene).
kodalldeath.diak a kodelleleternal; everlasting.
kurstwitching (nervous disorder) .kurstwitching (nervous disorder) .
chuisworm; maggot.bederechuis(starchy food) spoiled (by water); decomposing or moldy.
techiirhandnet with handle; cloth or screen for pressing coconut milk; sheath at base of coconut frond (used for pressing coconut milk).mekudem a techerel(person who) understands or catches everything.
kobengodelvery strong current.kobengodel (ocean) having very strong current.
olechutellarge bamboo raftolechutel(boat, person) slow-moving

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
ungil er a rengulfine or all right with.
ongemengemek a rengulongemengemek
olsiich er a rengultake pleasure in someone else's pain, difficulties, problems, etc.
merechorech a rengulselfish; greedy; stingy.
ouralmesils a rengulweak-willed.
kedeb a rengulshort tempered; impatient.
betik a rengulhaving a deep feeling or affection for; love.

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