VTI 3rd Person Inflection in the Independent Indicative Present

In the 3rd person of the Independent Indicative Present, the suffix -u- , which usually marks 3rd persons, is added. However, if nothing else is added, which is the case for the proximate (non-obviative) 3rd person singular, the suffix -u is no longer pronounced as a true u because of the (labial) consonant m precedes itA consonant followed by a raised u (Cu) is called a labialized consonant, because it is pronounced by rounding the lips. The most common labialized consonant in Innu is ku, as in atiku caribou. There are also mu, pishimu month, shu, nishu two, tu, nishtu three. For more information on labialized consonants, see… ; the suffix u is therefore written as a raised (superscript) ᵘ, because the consonant becomes labialized: tutamu s/he does something, uapatamu s/he sees something. When another suffix is added to the 3rd person suffix, the u is clearly heard and is therefore no longer raised: tutamuat they do something, tutamupan s/he did something. In the obviative, the inflection -u- comes after the 1st marker of obviation:

STEM + am + ń + u + a

For example:

tshitapat + am + ń + u + a = tshitapatamińua s/he (obv) watches something