Consonants /p/ and /Ɵ/, 129 pairs     [pithigh.html]

There are no problems with spelling since /p/ is always <p> or <pp>, while /Ɵ/ is always <th>..

This contrast is between a stop and a fricative. Both are both unvoiced but they are well separated in the mouth. Learners are unlikely to confuse them even if they have trouble make the /Ɵ/ sound.

Interesting pairs include:

epics ethics
picket thicket
pressure thresher
The mean density value is 1.6%. The list makes 70 semantic contrasts, giving a semantic loading of 54%.
beep Beith 
burp berth 
  burps berths
  burped berthed 
  burping berthing 
burp birth
  burps births 
cap Cath 
dep death 
epic ethic
  epics ethics
grope growth
  gropes growths
hap hath
harp hearth
  harps hearths
heap heath
  heaps heaths
help health 
  helpful healthful 
keep Keith 
kip kith
lope loath 
maps maths
mop moth
  mops moths
neap 'neath 
pain thane
  pains thanes
pane thane
  panes thanes
patch thatch
  patched thatched
  patches thatches
  patching thatching
pause thaws
paw thaw
  paws thaws
  pawed thawed
  pawing thawing
pawn thorn
  pawns thorns
peeve thieve
  peeved thieved
  peeves thieves
  peeving thieving
  peevish thievish
  peevishly thievishly
peri theory
  peris theories
perm therm
  perms therms
pews thews
pi thigh
  pis thighs
pick thick
picker thicker
picket thicket
  pickets thickets
pie thigh
  pies thighs
pin thin
  pinned thinned
  pinning thinning
  pins thins
ping thing
  pings things
pink think
  pinker thinker
  pinking thinking
  pinks thinks
pip pith
PO Theo
pole thole
  poles tholes
poll thole
  polls tholes
pore thaw
  pored thawed
  pores thaws
porn thorn
port thought
  ports thoughts
pour thaw
  poured thawed
  pours thaws
pressure thresher
  pressures threshers
price thrice
pro throe
  pros throes
pro throw
  pros throws
prone throne
prone thrown
prong throng
  pronged thronged
  prongs throngs
prose throes
prose throws
Pru threw
Pru through
pug thug
  pugs thugs
pump thump
  pumped thumped
  pumping thumping
  pumps thumps
purred third
pursed thirst
rape wraith
  rapes wraiths
reap wreath
rope wroth
sheep sheath 
sloop sleuth 
  sloops sleuths 
slope sloth
  slopes sloths
soup sooth 
  soups sooths 
troop truth
  troops truths
trope troth
troupe truth
  troupes truths
whelp wealth 
whip withe
  whips withes

John Higgins, Shaftesbury, January 2010