VAI + Object

ᓂᐲᐅᐦᑖᐤ Click here to hear this word nipiiuhtaau S/he wets it
ᓂᐲᐅᐦᑖᐤ ᐅᑳᓂᒌᒻ Click here to hear this word nipiiuhtaau ukaanichiim She wets her (own) sweater

Some VAI like ᓂᐲᐅᐦᑖᐤ nipiiuhtaau in the example above, can take an inanimate noun as goal or object (the inanimate noun ᐅᑳᓂᒌᒻ ukaanichiim). Even when used alone, they have an implicit goal or object (‘it’). Many of these verbs, like ᓂᐲᐅᐦᑖᐤ nipiiuhtaau ‘S/he wets it’, end in the causative suffix -ᐦᑖᐤ -htaau.

Such verbs are not really Intransitive, they behave like Transitive Inanimate verbs. However, Regular VTI verbs end in –im, like ᐧᐋᐱᐦᑎᒻ waapihtim.

They have corresponding VTA forms if an animate goal is used. For example:

ᓂᐲᐅᐦᐋᐤ ᐅᐸᔨᒌᓯᒻᐦ᙮ nipiiuhaau upayichiisimh. ‘She gets her (own) pants wet.’ (by walking through puddles for example)

In the Cree dictionary, and in the Conjugation Guide, we call such verbs VAI+O, for Verb Animate Intransitive + Object. Such verbs have their unspecified actor form (or passive) in -kiniuu, like VTI verbs. Regular VAI verbs have an unspecified actor form in -niuu.

VAI+O ᐅᔑᐦᑖᐤ᙮ ushihtaa-u. ‘S/he makes it.’
-kiniuu ᐅᔑᐦᑖᑭᓂᐆ᙮ ushihtaa-kiniuu. ‘It is being made (by somebody).’
-niuu – not possible *ushihtaa-niuu. *’There is making going on.’


VAI ᓂᐹᐤ᙮ nipaa-u. ‘S/he is sleeping.’
-kiniuu – not possible *nipaa-kiniuu. ‘It is being slept (by somebody).’
-niuu ᓂᐹᓂᐆ᙮ nipaa-niuu. ‘There is sleeping (going on).’

This is a good way to tell them apart.

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