Consonants /g/ versus //, 20 pairs     [guythy.html]

The spelling of /g/ is <g> or <gg>. The // sound is spelled <th> throughout.

This is a contrast between a stop and a fricative, both voiced but well separated in the mouth. It does not cause any problems.

Interesting pairs include:

mugger mother
smugger (meaning more smug) smother

Since // is a rare sound, the figure for the mean density is very low at 0.6%. The set makes 17 semantic contrasts, giving a high loading of 85% since many of the // words are function words which do not inflect.

Bergen burthen
digger dither
  diggers dithers
Gael they'll
gale they'll
GATT that
gave they've
gay they
ghee thee
go though
goes those
guy thy
laager lather
  laagers lathers
Largs laths
mugger mother 
  muggers mothers 
smugger smother 
Whig with
wig with

John Higgins, Shaftesbury, September 2010.