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 a 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 -am, like ᐧᐋᐸᐦᑕᒻ waapahtam.

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

ᓂᐲᐅᐦᐁᐤ ᐅᐸᔨᒌᓯᒻᐦ᙮ Click here to hear this word nipiiuheu upayichiisimh. ‘She gets her (own) pants wet.’ (by walking through puddles for example)
ᒧᐧᐁᐤ ᐋᐃᐦᑯᓈᐤᐦ᙮ Click here to hear this word muweu aaihkunaauh. She eats bannock (animate)’

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 -kanuu, like VTI verbs. Regular VAI verbs have an unspecified actor form in -nuu.

VAI+O ᐅᔑᐦᑖᐤ᙮ Click here to hear this word ushihtaa-u. ‘S/he makes it.’
-kanuu ᐅᔑᐦᑖᑲᓅ᙮ ushihtaa-kanuu. ‘It is being made (by somebody).’
-nuu- not possible- *ushihtaa-nuu. *’There is making going on.’


VAI ᓂᐹᐤ᙮ Click here to hear this word nipaa-u. ‘S/he is sleeping.’
-kanuu- not possible *nipaa-kanuu. ‘It is being slept (by somebody).’
-nuu ᓂᐹᓅ᙮ nipaa-nuu. ‘There is sleeping (going on).’

This is a good way to tell them apart.

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