Vowels 5 and 20, /ɑ/ versus /ʊə/    35 pairs      [parpoor.html]

The /ɑ/ vowel is usually spelled <ar> but we also find <a> in ta and <aa> in baa. Notice how the homograph baas enters into two different pairs, as does the near homograph tours and Tours (the French city). The /ʊə/ diphthong is spelled <oor>, <our>, <ure>, <ewe> in crewel or <ue> in cruel.

This contrast is between a long vowel and a diphthong. The starting tongue positions are fairly well separated and confusions are unlikely.

Interesting pairs include:

kraal cruel
parley poorly

The density value is 2.94%. The pairs make 21 semantic contrasts, giving a loading of 54.8%.

ajar adjure 
baa Boer
  baas Boers	  
baa boor
  baas boors
baas bourse	
bar Boer
  bars Boers
bar boor	
  bars boors
barn bourne
  barns bournes
guard gourd 
  guards gourds 
kraal crewel
  kraals crewels
kraal cruel 
lard lured
mar moor
  marred moored
  marring mooring
  mars moors
pa poor
par poor
parr poor
parley poorly
spar spoor
  spars spoors
ta tour  
ta Tours
tar tour
  tarred toured
  tarring touring
  tars tours
tar Tours  

John Higgins, Shaftesbury, July 2014