VAI stems can end in one of six different vowels : -e, -aa, -ii, -uu, -i, -u.
|e||ᓂᒣᑕᐧᐁᓐ||nimetawe-n||I am playing|
|aa||ᓂᓂᐹᓐ||ninipaa-n||I am sleeping|
|ii||ᓅᐦᒌᓐ||nuuhchii-n||I come from…|
|uu||ᓂᓃᐴᓐ||niniipuu-n||I am standing|
|i||ᓂᑕᐱᓐ||nitapi-n||I am sitting|
|u||ᓂᓂᑲᒧᓐ||ninikamu-n||I am singing|
Link to the Conjugation Table.
For stems ending in -uu, and -i, a stem vowel can dissapear in the third person proximate independent indicative. (This is called “vowel coalescence” for what happens to -uu, and “vowel harmony” for what happens to -i):
|ᓃᐴ-ᐅ||niipuu-u||→||ᓃᐴ||niipuu||s/he is standing||(one u disappears)|
|ᐊᐱ-ᐅ||api-u||→||ᐊᐴ||apuu||s/he is sitting||(the i becomes u)|
VAI verbs with stems ending in -n, have a special behaviour. The nasal vowel n becomes h in the 3rd person proximate inflection in the conjunct indicative paradigms (#11 and #12).
|ᐱᒥᔑᓐ||pimishin (#10)||→||ᐁ ᐱᒥᔑᐦᒃ||e pimishih-k (#11)||whenever s/he is lying down|
|→||ᐱᒥᔑᐦᑫ||pimishih-ke (#12a)||when s/he is going to lie down|
|→||ᐯᒥᔑᐦᒃᐦ||pemishih-kh (#12b)||every time s/he lies down|
Note that the third person proximate conjunct suffix for vai n-stem verbs is -k rather than the -t used with vowel stems.
See the Conjugation Table for n-stems.
VAI aa, e, and n stems use a shorter passive suffix (unspecified actor form): they shorten the -naanuu suffix or merge it with the stem. Compare:
|aa||X||ᓂᐹᓅ||nipaa+naanuu=nipaanuu||people sleep, there is a sleepover||(short suffix: -nuu)|
|e||X||ᒣᑕᐧᐋᓅ||metuwe+naanuu=metawaanuu||people play, there is playing||(short suffix: -aanuu)|
|people arrive, there an arrival||(short suffix: -aanuu)|
|u||X||ᓂᑲᒧᓈᓅ||nikamu+naanuu=nikamunaanuu||people sing, there is a singing event||(regular suffix: -naanuu)|
The same happens for the X’ forms (unspecified actor Obviative): the long suffix -naanuuyuu becomes -nuuyuu after an aa stem, or -aanuuyuu with an e or n stem.