Consonants /g/ versus /h/, 149 pairs     [gaghag.html]

Since this is a contrast that can only occur initially, the spelling of /g/ is always <g> while the /h/ sound is spelled <h>.

This is a contrast between a voiced stop and a voiceless fricative. both in the velar or glottal area of the mouth. It may cause some problems to learners accustomed to strongly fricative /h/ sounds.

Interesting pairs include:

gayness heinous
girdle hurdle
golly holly
guardship hardship

The figure for the mean density is 3.1%. The set makes 80 semantic contrasts, a loading of 54%.

gad had
Gael hail
  Gaels hails
Gael hale
gale hail
  gales hails
gale hale
gag hag
  gags hags
gaggle haggle
  gaggles haggles
gait hate
  gaits hates
gal Hal 
gall hall
  galls halls
gall haul
  galled hauled
  galls hauls
  galling hauling
galley Halle 
gallows hallows
gamma hammer
  gammas hammers
gang hang
  ganging hanging
  gangs hangs
  ganged hanged
ganger hangar
  gangers hangars
gap hap
  gaps haps
garden harden
  gardened hardened
  gardening hardening
  gardens hardens
Gary Harry
gash hash
gasp hasp
  gasps hasps
gate hate
  gated hated
  gating hating
  gates hates
gat hat
gaud hawed
Gaul hall
  Gauls halls
Gaul haul
  Gauls hauls
gaunt haunt
gauze haws
gawk hawk
  gawks hawks
gay hay
gayness heinous
gays haze
gaze haze
  gazed hazed
  gazes hazes
  gazing hazing
gear hear
  gearing hearing
  gears hears
geld held
gharries harries
ghee he
ghost host 
  ghosted hosted
  ghosting hosting
  ghosts hosts
gillie hilly
gilt hilt
gird heard
gird herd
  girded herded
  girding herding
  girds herds
girdle hurdle
  girdled hurdled
  girdles hurdles
  girdling hurdling
girl hurl
  girls hurls
go ho
go hoe
  goes hoes
  going hoeing
goad hoed
goal hole
  goals holes
goal whole
  goals wholes
goalie holy
  goalies holies
goalie wholly
gob hob
  gobs hobs
gobble hobble
  gobbled hobbled
  gobbles hobbles
god hod
  gods hods
gold hold
gold holed
golly holly
gone Hon 
goo Hoo 
goo who
good hood
  goods hoods
gooey hooey
goof hoof
  goofs hoofs
Goole who'll
gore hoar
gorse hoarse
gory hoary
  gorier hoarier
  goriest hoariest
got hot
gowned hound
guard hard
guardship hardship
  guardships hardships
guide hide
  guides hides
  guiding hiding
guise hies
gull hull
  gulled hulled
  gulling hulling
  gulls hulls
gum hum
  gummed hummed
  gumming humming
  gums hums
gun Hun 
  guns Huns
gunny honey
gush hush
  gushes hushes
  gushing hushing
  gushed hushed
gut hut
  gutted hutted
guy hi
  guying hieing
  guys hies

John Higgins, Shaftesbury, October 2010.