Vowels 4 and 17, // versus //    118 pairs      [cadcowed.html]

The // vowel is spelled <a> followed by two consonants or by one consonant in a monosyllable, apart from <ai> in plaid. The // diphthong is spelled <ou> or <ow>, with one exception <ao> in the word Maori.

This contrast is between a short vowel and a diphthong with the sounds well separated in the mouth, so it should not cause any problems.

There is one pair involving a taboo word: shat/shout.

Interesting pairs include:

cancel counsel
expand expound
marry Maori

The density value is 5.52%. The pairs make 58 semantic contrasts, giving a loading of 49.1%.

Al owl
at out
attar outer
bad bowed	  
band bound
  banded bounded
  banding bounding
  bands bounds
banned bound
bat bout
  bats bouts
bran brown
brand browned
cad cowed	
cancel council
  cancel councils
cancel counsel
  cancelling counselling
  cancelled counselled
  cancels counsels
cant count
  canted counted
  canting counting
  cants counts
canter counter
  cantered countered
  cantering countering
  canters counters
carry cowrie
  carries cowries
catch couch  
  catches couches
  catching couching
Chas chows
clad cloud
clan clown
  clans clowns
  clannish clownish
daddy dowdy
Dan Down
Danny downy
drat drought
  drats droughts
expand expound
  expanded expounded
  expanding expounding
  expands expounds
fanned found
flat flout
  flats flouts
Fran frown
GATT gout
gnat knout
  gnats knouts
grand ground
Hal howl
hand hound
  handed hounded
  handing hounding
  hands hounds
has house
lad loud
ladder louder
lass louse
lat lout
manned mound
marry Maori 
  marries Maoris 
mass mouse
  massed moused
  masses mouses
  massing mousing
massy mousy
  massier mousier
  massiest mousiest
Nat knout
panda pounder
  pandas pounders
pander pounder
  panders pounders
panned pound
pat pout
  patted pouted
  patting pouting
  pats pouts
patch pouch  
  patched pouched
  patches pouches
  patching pouching
plaid ploughed
rand round
  rands rounds
rat rout
  rats routs
  ratted routed
  ratting routing
recant recount
  recanted recounted
  recanting recounting
  recants recounts
sand sound
  sanded sounded
  sanding sounding
  sands sounds
scat scout
shat shout
spat spout
  spats spouts
  spatted spouted
  spatting spouting
sprat sprout
  sprats sprouts
tan town
  tans towns
tat tout
  tats touts
  tatted touted
  tatting touting

John Higgins, Shaftesbury, November 2009