Consonants /g/ versus /w/, 150 pairs     [gayway.html]

The /g/ sound is spelled with <g> throughout. The /w/ sound is spelled <w> or <wh> and occurs in the letter name Y.

The contrast only occurs initially and is between a velar stop and a bilabial semivowel, both voiced. It does not cause any problems.

Interesting pairs include:

giggle wiggle
gizzard wizard
Gordon warden

The mean density value is 2.8%. The list makes 79 semantic distinctions, a loading of 53%.

Gael wail
  Gaels wails
Gaels Wales
gag wag
  gagged wagged
  gagging wagging
  gags wags
gage wage
  gaged waged
  gages wages
  gaging waging
gaggle waggle
  gaggles waggles
gain Wayne
gain wane
  gained waned
  gaining waning
  gains wanes
gain wain
  gains wains
gait wait
  gaits waits
gaiter waiter
  gaiters waiters
gale wail
  gales wails
gales Wales  
gall wall
  galled walled
  galling walling
  galls walls
gang whang
  ganged whanged
  gangs whangs
  ganging whanging
gangling wangling
gate wait
  gating waiting
  gated waited
  gates waits
gate weight
  gates weights
  gated weighted
  gating weighting  
gaud ward
gaud warred
gauge wage
  gauges wages
  gauging waging
  gauged waged
Gaul wall
  Gauls walls
gauze wars
gave waive
gave wave
gawk walk
  gawks walks
gawp warp
  gawped warped
  gawping warping
  gawps warps
gay way
  gays ways
gay weigh
  gays weighs
gear Wear
gear weir
  gears weirs
geared weird
geld weld
  gelded welded
  gelding welding
  gelds welds
get wet
  gets wets
  getting wetting
ghat wart
  ghats warts
ghee we
Ghent went
gig Whig
  gigs Whigs
gig wig
  gigs wigs
giggle wiggle
  giggled wiggled
  giggles wiggles
  giggling wiggling
gill will
  gills wills
gillie Willie
  gillies willies
gilt wilt
gird whirred
gird word
  girded worded
  girding wording
  girds words
girl whirl
  girls whirls
gizzard wizard
  gizzards wizards
go whoa
go woe
  goes woes
goad woad
gobble wobble
  gobbled wobbled
  gobbles wobbles
gobbler wobbler
  gobblers wobblers
god wad
  gods wads
gold wold
goner wanner
goo woo
good wood
  goods woods
goody woody
goof woof
  goofs woofs
Gordon warden
gore war
  goring warring
  gores wars
  gored warred
gored ward  
gosh wash
got watt
got what
gowned wound
guessed west
guest west
guide wide
  guides wides
guile while
guiles wiles
guinea whinny
  guineas whinnies
guise wise
guise Y's
gun one
  guns ones
gun won
Gurkha worker
  Gurkhas workers
guy Y
  guys Y's 
guys wise  
golly Wally

John Higgins, Shaftesbury, October 2010.