Consonants /n/ versus /ʧ/, 182 pairs     [nipchip.html]

The /n/ sound is spelled with <n>, <kn> as in knee or <gn> in gnaw. The /ʧ/ sound is spelled with <ch> or <tch>.

This is a contrast between a voiced alveolar nasal continuant and a voiceless alveolar affricate. It is not a problem. The cluster /ʧt/ only seems to occur in past tense forms, so many of the pairs contrast an uninflected verb with a past tense verb, as in hint/hitched or want/watched.

Interesting pairs include:

forenoon fortune
sooner suture

The mean density value is 1.2%. The lists make 113 semantic distinctions, a loading of 62%.

aren't arched 
ban batch
bean beach 
  beaned beached
bean beech
been beach
been beech 
bent benched
Bern birch
bin bitch
  binning bitching
Bonn botch
Bourne bortsch
burn birch
  burning birching 
  burnt birched 
can catch
  canning catching
canna catcher
  cannas catchers
canny catchy
  cannier catchier
  canniest catchiest
churn church 
cone coach
  coning coaching 
coneys coaches 
count couched 
crown crouch 
  crowning crouching 
din ditch
  dinning ditching
dint ditched
done Dutch 
dun Dutch
e'en each
fen fetch
forenoon fortune
  forenoons fortunes
gnat chat
  gnats chats 
gnaw chaw 
  gnawed chawed 
  gnawing chawing 
  gnaws chaws 
gnaw chore
  gnaws chores
gnu chew 
  gnus chews 
hint hitched
honeys hutches
Hun hutch
in itch
inn itch
inning itching
Ken ketch
kin kitsch
knap chap 
  knapped chapped 
  knapping chapping 
  knaps chaps 
knees cheese 
knit chit 
  knits chits 
knives chives 
knock chock 
  knocked chocked 
  knocking chocking 
  knocks chocks 
knows chose 
knuckle chuckle 
  knuckled chuckled 
  knuckles chuckles 
  knuckling chuckling 
Larne larch
lean leach 
  leaning leaching 
lean leech  
learn lurch
  learning lurching
  learnt lurched
learner lurcher
  learners lurchers
man match
  manning matching
moon mooch 
  mooning mooching 
N etch
nap chap 
  napped chapped 
  napping chapping 
  naps chaps 
Nat chat
natter chatter 
  nattered chattered 
  nattering chattering 
  natters chatters 
natty chatty 
  nattier chattier 
  nattiest chattiest 
  nattily chattily 
near cheer 
  neared cheered 
  nearing cheering 
  nears cheers 
neck Czech 
  necks Czechs 
neck check
  necked checked 
  necking checking 
  necks checks
neck cheque
  necks cheques
needle Cheadle 
ne'er chair 
ness chess 
nest chest 
  nests chests 
  nesting chesting
Nestor Chester 
Neuss choice
nickel chicle 
nick chick
  nicks chicks 
nil chill 
nine chine 
  nines chines 
ninnies niches 
nip chip
  nipped chipped 
  nipping chipping 
  nips chips
nor chaw
 nor chore 
nose chose
now chow 
numb chum 
  numbed chummed 
  numbing chumming 
  numbs chums 
pan patch
  panning patching
pannier patchier
pant patched
pawn porch
pin pitch
  pinning pitching
pinnies pitches
pone poach 
ponies poaches 
preen preach 
  preening preaching 
ran ratch
Rennes retch
Rennes wretch
rent retched
roan roach 
scone scotch
scorn scorch 
  scorning scorching 
screen screech 
  screening screeching 
son such
sooner suture
stint stitched
sun such
ton touch
torn torch 
tun touch
tunnies touches 
tunny touchy 
twin twitch
  twinning twitching
wan watch
wanner watcher
want watched
whin which 
whinnies witches
win which
win witch
  winning witching
wren retch
wren wretch

John Higgins, Shaftesbury, December 2010.