There are a great many commonly used affixes in the Palauan language. These can be found listed here and many are described in great detail in the Palauan grammar books.

The i- prefix

While not documented in any of the Palauan grammar books book, an 'i-' may be prefixed to certain words (usually demonstrative pronouns) to provide emphasis, and these emphasized words are frequently used in Palauan. For example, tia is changed to itia to provide emphasis (i.e. this particular thing).

This is commonly heard in songs in the phrase itia el renguk (this heart of mine) (e.g. Adidil e ng Kebesengei).

More examples can be found in five song books that contained the song Doki Doki which wrote the first person-emphatic pronoun as yak (more correctly spelled as iak, apparently to emphasize that I remained:

e iak kililei mak bai dilu klmesmechek.

Yoichi Rengiil, in his song Oh! Somebody Me Keleng Saingo, uses the phrase kaui a uchul e ak morolung (you are the reason that I am leaving).

Additionally, an '-i' is often found appended to words such as aika to make aikai. A very common phrase in Palauan songs is aikaikid a lengelek er kau (these are my tears for you). Appending the emphasizing '-i' is also demonstrated in the phrase tilechai a renguk el diobengkem (that is my heart that just accompanies you) from the song Dider a Sechou.

In the previous examples where the emphasizing 'i' is added at the end of the word, it is probably the case that the correct grammatical construction is that the 'i' should instead be prefixed to the connecting word a to form ia to provide emphasis to the word that follows, especially when that word is a noun. For example, Yoichi Rengiil explained that in the line from the song Dider a Sechou. that states e ia rebldekek te ngar keltang (my ancestors, where are they?) the ia adds emphasis on the singer’s ancestors. Yoichi used a similar construction in Oh! Somebody with the line e ia otoko a di mlo ikrii (and then the man just turned his back on her).

Please listen to this audio recording of Masaharu Tmodrang and Jim Geselbrecht discussing this prefix here.

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