Vowels 10 and 18, /ʌ/ versus /ɪə/    19 pairs       [budbeard.html]

The /ʌ/ vowel is spelled with <u> and <o> in worry. The /ɪə/ vowel is spelled <ear>, <eer>, or <ier>.

This is a contrast between a short vowel and a diphthong widely separated in the mouth. It does not seem to be a problem for many learners.

The density figure is 0.45%. The set makes 11 semantic contrasts for a loading of 61%.


bud beard 
  budded bearded 
  budding bearding 
  buds beards
buzz beers 
does dears 
Durham Dereham 
fuss fierce 
fuzz fears 
pus pierce 
spud speared 
stud steered 
unworried unwearied 
us ears 
worry weary 
  worried wearied 
  worries wearies 
  worrisome wearisome 
  worrying wearying 

John Higgins, Shaftesbury, December 2009