|ᓂᐲᐅᐦᑖᐤ᙮||nipiiuhtaau.||‘S/he wets it.’|
|ᓂᐲᐅᐦᑖᐤ ᐅᑳᓂᒌᒻ᙮||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᙮||nipiiuheu upayichiisimh.||‘She gets her (own) pants wet.’ (by walking through puddles for example)|
|ᒧᐧᐁᐤ ᐋᐃᐦᑯᓈᐤᐦ᙮||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᙮||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᙮||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.