Observation
napessiu he is a boy ninapessiun I am a boy
auassiu s/he is young apu auassiut s/he is not young

Verbs like napessiu and auassiu have stems ending in long u. This stem is stable; the u appears in all verb forms.

The difference between long and short u stems can be heard in the imperative. Verbs with short u stems end in i (not u) in the imperative.

Careful! au stems are also often pronounced as long u [u:] in the western dialects.

EXAMPLES OF AI VERBS WITH LONG u STEMS
pashiku s/he stands up pashikui! stand up!
kanieu s/he wins kanieui! win!
kunu s/he is covered in snow tshikununau you (pl) are covered in snow
uińnu s/he is fat nuińnuti I was fat
minapu it (anim) is purple minapuipan it (anim) was purple
uishtu he has a beard tshuishtun you have a beard
ushiku s/he is hurt ushikuńua s/he (obv) is hurt
nekau s/he is covered in sand ninekaun I am covered in sand
ukaumau she is a mother tshukaumaunau you (pl) are mothers
akaneshau s/he is English apu akaneshaut s/he is not English
NOTES ON SPELLING
  • Innu spelling doesn’t mark vowel length; therefore, les radicaux en u long ne sont pas identifiés en tant que tels dans le dictionnaire. When conjugated, long and short u stems can only be distinuished in the 2nd person singular of the Imperative Indicative Present: (short u) Nikamu! Sing!; (long u) Kanieui! Win!
  • As with short u stem verbs, the inflection -u of the 3rd person singular of the Independent Indicative Present assimilates with the u of the stem; for example, nekau+u=nekau s/he is covered in sand, nekau+u+at=nekauat they are covered in sand.