Vowel 5 /ɑ/ versus null    61 pairs     [amenmen.htm]

These pairs exhibit either the loss of a complete opening or closing prominent syllable, eg arbiter/bitter and bizarre/biz, or the loss of an internal vowel where the surrounding consonants are capable of clustering, so that the second word seems to bear little relation to the first word, eg regard/rigged or starring/string. In both cases an unstressed component moves up to acquire stress, so that the contrast is not strictly minimal, though there are a few cases where the deleted /ɑ/ vowel is unstressed and the contrast is more truly a minimal pair, eg arcane/cane, radar/raid and sonar/sewn.

The density is 1.47%. There are 47 semantic contrasts in the list, giving a semantic loading of 77%.

amen men
arbiter bitter
  arbiters bitters
arcane cane
argon gone
argot go
aria rear
  arias rears
aria rhea
  arias rheas
armies Ms
arsenic snick
article tickle
  articled tickled
  articles tickles
  articling tickling
Bahrain brain
  Bahraini brainy
barring bring
bizarre biz
canard canned
depart dipped
dinar dean
  dinars deans
impasse amps
koala cola
  koalas colas
Laos loss
locale local
  locales locals
matriarchs matrix
PR pea
PR pee
pulsar pulse
Qatar cut
RA ray
RA re
radar raid
radar rayed
rampart ramped
RC sea
RC see
real rail
  reals rails
rearm ream
  rearms reams
  rearms Rheims
regard rigged
RN Rennes
RN wren
sirdar surd
  sirdars surds
sitar sit
sonar sewn
sonar sown
sparring spring
starring string
tarring Tring
John Higgins, Shaftesbury, November 2009.