VAI (Verb Animate Intransitive) stems

  • Stems ending with a vowel
  • Stems ending with -wi
  • Stems ending with -n

Stems ending with a vowel

Most VAI verbs have stems ending with a vowel. For example a verb like ᔒᐦᑭᒋᐤ shiihkichiu ‘s/he is cold’ is made of the stem ᔒᐦᑭᒋ shiihkichi- ‘be cold’ and the suffix -u. When we conjugate ᔒᐦᑭᒋᐤ shiihkichiu, we recognize the common stem ᔒᐦᑭᒋ shiihkichi- in all the forms.

1 ᓂᔒᐦᑭᒋᓐ nishiihkichin I am cold
2 ᒋᔒᐦᑭᒋᓐ chishiihkichin you are cold
1p ᓂᔒᐦᑭᒋᓈᓐ nishiihkichinaan we (but not you) are cold
21p ᒋᔒᐦᑭᒋᓈᓂᐤ chishiihkichinaaniu we (including you) are cold
2p ᒋᔒᐦᑭᒋᓈᐧᐋᐤ chishiihkichinaawaau you are cold
3 ᔒᐦᑭᒋᐤ shiihkichiu s/he is cold
3p ᔒᐦᑭᒋᐧᐃᒡ shiihkichiwich they are cold
3′ ᔒᐦᑭᒋᔨᐅᐦ shiihkichiyiuh the other(s) is(are) cold

ᔒᐦᑭᒋ shiihkichi- is a stem ending in a short -i. The different vowel endings are:

short i ᔒᐦᑭᒋᐤ shiihkichi-u s/he is cold
short u ᓂᑭᒨ nikimu-u s/he is singing
long aa ᓂᐹᐤ nipaa-u s/he is sleeping
long ii ᐅᐦᒌᐤ uhchii-u s/he comes from…

Links to Conjugation Tables:

In the verb conjugations, the model verbs are indicated as -i, -ii, -u. -aa.

VAI aa stems use a shorter passive suffix (unspecified actor form): they shorten the -naaniu suffix.  Compare:

Stem  Person
aa X ᓂᐹᓅᓂᐆ nipaa+naaniu=nipaaniuu people sleep, there is a sleepover (short suffix: -niu)
Other stems
u X ᓂᒧᓈᓅ nikimu+naaniu=nikimunaaniu people sing, there is a singing event (regular suffix: -naaniu)

The same happens for the X’ forms (unspecified actor Obviative): the long suffix -naaniuyuu becomes -niwiyuu after an aa stem, or -aaniwiyuu with an e or n stem.


Stems ending with -wi

Other VAI verbs have stems ending in vowels that contain wi for some forms. For example, when we conjugate a verb like ᓃᐴ niipuu ‘s/he is standing’, we see the stem is ᓃᐴ niipu– in niipu-u, but niipuwi in ᓃᐳᐧᐃᐧᐃᒡ niipuwi-wich.

Here are some examples:

uwi ᓃᐴ niipu-u s/he is standing
ᑳ ᓃᐳᐧᐃᑦ kaa niipuwi-t the one who is standing
iwi ᒥᓂᑑᔑᐆ minituushiu-u it (anim) has worms
ᑳ ᒥᓂᑑᔑᐧᐃᑦ kaa minituushiwi-t the one who has worms
iiwi ᓯᔅᒌᐆ sischiiu-u it is muddy
ᑳ ᓯᔅᒌᐧᐃᑦ kaa sischiiwi-t the one who is muddy
aawi ᓈᐹᐆ naapaau-u he is a man
ᑳ ᓈᐹᐧᐃᑦ naapaawi-t the one who is a man

These verbs are indicated as -uwi, -iwi, -iiwi and -aawi in the dictionary. In the verb conjugations, the model verb is indicated as -wi.

Conjugation Tables

Stems ending with -n

Other VAI verbs have stems ending in -n. For example, when we conjugate a verb like ᑎᑯᔑᓐ tikushin ‘s/he arrives’, we recognize the common stem ᑎᑯᔑᓐ tikushin in all the forms:

1 ᓂᑎᑯᔑᓂᓐ nitikushinin I arrive
2 ᒋᑎᑯᔑᓂᓐ chitikushinin You arrive
1p ᓂᑎᑯᔑᓂᓈᓐ nitikushininaan We (but not you) arrive
21p ᒋᑎᑯᔑᓂᓈᓂᐤ chitikushininaaniu We (including you) arrive
2p ᒋᑎᑯᔑᓂᓈᐧᐋᐤ chitikushininaawaau You arrive
3 ᑎᑯᔑᓐ tikushin S/he arrives
3p ᑎᑯᔑᓂᒡ tikushinich They arrive
4 ᑎᑯᔑᓂᔨᐤᐦ tikushiniyiuh The other arrives

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 conjugations (#11 and #12).

ᑎᑯᔑᓐ tikushin #01 ᐋᐦ ᑎᑯᔑᐦᒃ aah tikushih-k #11
ᑎᑯᔑᐦᑳ tikushih-kaa or ᑎᑯᔑᐦᒑ tikushih-chaa #12a
ᑎᑯᔑᐦᒃᐦ tikushih-kh or ᑎᑯᔑᐦᒡᐦ tikushih-chh #12b

Note also that we find here a -k rather than a -t, for the third person proximate conjunct suffix.

Link to Conjugation Tables