Consonants /d/ versus /h/, 241 pairs     [doghog.html]

This contrast only occurs initially. In theory there might be medial contrasts such as *redash/rehash, but none showed up in the dictionary. The /h/ sound does not occur finally in RP. The /d/ sound is spelled with <d> and the /h/ sound <h> or <wh> in who. Notice how the homograph do makes pairs with with hoe and who, and similarly house makes pairs with douse and dowse.

The contrast is between a voiced stop and a voiceless fricative, well separated in the mouth. It is not a problem for learners.

Interesting pairs include:

deafer heifer
Devon heaven
dialling hireling
dollar holler
Doris Horace

The mean density value is 2.1%. The list makes 132 semantic distinctions, a loading of 55%.

D he
dad had
daft haft
dairy hairy
daisies hazes
daisy hazy
dale hail
  dales hails
dale hale
dally Halle 
dam ham
  dams hams
  dammed hammed
  damming hamming
damn ham  
  dammed hammed
  damming hamming
  damns hams
damper hamper
  dampers hampers
dandle handle
  dandled handled
  dandles handles
  dandling handling
dandy handy
dank hank
danker hanker
dare hair
  dares hairs
dare hare
  daring haring
  dared hared
dare Herr
dark hark
darken hearken
  darkened hearkened
  darkening hearkening
  darkens hearkens
dart hart 
  darts harts
dart heart
  darted hearted
  darts hearts
Dartford Hertford
dash hash
  dashed hashed
  dashes hashes
  dashing hashing
date hate
  dated hated
  dates hates
  dating hating
daunt haunt
  daunted haunted
  daunting haunting
daw haw
  daws haws
daw hoar
daw whore
  daws whores
dawn horn
  dawned horned
  dawning horning
  dawns horns
day hay
days haze
daze haze
  dazed hazed
  dazing hazing
dead head
deadline headline
  deadlines headlines
deafer heifer
deal heal
  dealing healing
  deals heals
deal heel
  deals heels
  dealing heeling
dealer healer
  dealers healers
dear hear
  dears hears
dear here
dearer hearer
Dec heck
deck heck
  decks hecks
deed heed
  deeds heeds
dell hell
  dells hells
delve helve
  delves helves
den hen
  dens hens
dense hence
dep hep
Devon heaven
dew hew
  dews hews
dew hue
  dews hues
dew Hugh    
dewy Hughie 
dhow how
dhows house	   
dowse house
Di hi
Di hie
Di high
dialling hireling
Dick hick
die hi
die hie
  dying hieing
  dies hies
  died hied
die high
died hide
dike hike
  diked hiked
  dikes hikes
  diking hiking
dim him
dim hymn
  dimmed hymned
  dimming hymning
  dims hymns
dined hind
dint hint
  dints hints
dire higher
dirt hurt
  dirts hurts
ditch hitch
  ditched hitched
  ditches hitches
  ditching hitching
dither hither
dive hive
  dived hived
  dives hives
  diving hiving
do ho	 
do hoe
doe ho
doe hoe
  does hoes
does hose  
do who
do's whose
dock hock
  docked hocked
  docking hocking
  docks hocks
doer who're
dog hog
  dogged hogged
  dogging hogging
  dogs hogs
dole hole
  doled hold
  doles holes
  doling holing
dollar holler
  dollars hollers
Dolly holly
dome home
  domes homes
dominie hominy
don Hon
done Hun
doom whom
door haw
  doors haws
door hoar
door whore
  doors whores
dope hope
  doped hoped
  dopes hopes
  doping hoping
Doris Horace
Dorking hawking
dory hoary
dosed host 
dot hot
  dots hots
  dotted hotted
  dotting hotting
Doug hug
douse house
dowered Howard 
dowse house
  dowsing housing
downed hound
doze hose
  dozed hosed
  dozes hoses
  dozing hosing
dub hub
  dubs hubs
duchies hutches
dude hewed
due hew	   
  dues hews
due hue
  dies hues
due Hugh
dug hug
  dugs hugs
dull hull
  dulled hulled
  dulling hulling
  dulls hulls
dumb hum
dump hump
  dumped humped
  dumping humping
  dumps humps
dun Hun
  duns Huns
dune hewn
dung hung
dunk hunk
  dunks hunks
  dunking hunking
dusk husk
dusky husky
  duskier huskier
  duskiest huskiest
Dutch hutch
dye hi
dye hie
  dyes hies
  dyeing hieing
dye high	   
dyer higher
dyer hire
  dyers hires

John Higgins, Shaftesbury, February 2010.