Consonants /p/ versus /d/    326 pairs     [potdot.html]

There are no spelling problems, since /p/ is spelled <p> or <pp> in all cases, and similarly /d/ is <d> or <dd>.

Since this contrast is between a voiceless and a voiced consonant, there are various difference that become apparent when the sound is final, for instance vowel length as in beep/bead and devoicing of a nasal in cramp/crammed. I have treated as minimal the contrast between final /ps/ as in types and final /dz/ as in tides, since the difference in pronunciation of the -s ending is more or less neutralised in normal speech. (See paper by Merwyn Torikian, "Watch your language: an account of Soundedit with reference to the validity of phonological rules" in System 20, 4, pages 471 - 480, November 1992, in which he demonstrates with waveforms and sonograms that the plural marker after a voiced consonant is often realised as /s/ while the corresponding voiceless plural marker is often realised as /z/). I have left in the pair instep/instead, though these words differ in stress as well as sound.

The contrast is unlikely to be a problem for any learner. Even German speakers who devoice closing /d/ would still be unlikely to confuse carp and card.

The most interesting pair is tenpences/tendencies. Note how this is non-minimal in normal speech since the first /n/ in tenpences will be assimilated to /m/. Other interesting pairs include:

couple cuddle
harpist hardest
oppress address
pivot divot
upper udder
whelping welding

The density value is 3.1%. The list makes 323 semantic contrasts, a loading of 62%.

ape aid
  aping aiding
apple addle
  apples addles
beep bead
bleep bleed
  bleeping bleeding
bump bummed
burp bird
cap cad
carp card
  carping carding
chap Chad
chip chid
chump chummed
clamp clammed
clap clad
coop cooed
cop cod
cope code
  coping coding
copes codes
copied codded
copping codding
Corp cawed
Corp chord
Corp cord
Corp cored
couple cuddle
  coupled cuddled
  couples cuddles
  coupling cuddling
cp CD
cramp crammed
creep creed
croup crewed
croup crude
cup cud
damp dammed
dep dead
deep deed
dip did
dupe dude
  dupes dudes
gap gad
gawp gaud
gawp gored
grape grade
  grapes grades
grape grayed
grape greyed
grip grid
  grips grids
grippe greed
gulp gulled
hap had
harp hard
harper harder
harpist hardest
harpy hardy
heap he'd
heap heed
  heaping heeding
help held
hemp hemmed
hep head
hip hid
hoop who'd
hop hod
  hops hods
hope hoed
hump hummed
instep instead
jape jade
keep keyed
kip kid
  kipping kidding
kopecks codex
lamp lambed
lamp lammed
lap lad
leap lead
  leaping leading
  leaps leads
limp limbed
limp limned
lip lid
lope load
  lopes loads
  loping loading
lope lode
  lopes lodes
lope lowed
map mad
mop mod
mope mode
  mopes modes
mope mowed
nape neighed
neap knead
neap need
nope node
op odd
opium odium
opp odd
oppress address
  oppressed addressed
  oppresses addresses
  oppressing addressing
overripe override
P's D's
pace dace
packer Dacca
packer Dakar
pad Dad
  pads Dads
paddy Daddy
pail dale
  pails dales
pain Dane
  pains Danes
pain deign
  pained deigned
  paining deigning
  pains deigns
pair dare
  paired dared
  pairing daring
  pairs dares
pale dale
pales dales
pallid dallied
pally dally
Pam dam
Pam damn
pamper damper
  pampers dampers
pan Dan
pander dander
pane Dane
  panes Danes
pane deign
  panes deigns
pap pad
pare dare
  pared dared
  pares dares
  paring daring
park dark
parka darker
parky Darky
part dart
  parted darted
  parting darting
  parts darts
pate date
  pates dates
pause daws
pause doors
pave Dave
paw daw
  paws daws
paw door
  paws doors
pawn dawn
  pawned dawned
  pawning dawning
  pawns dawns
pay day
  pays days
pays daze
pea D
  peas D's
peal deal
  pealing dealing
  peals deals
pear dare
  pears dares
pease D's
peck deck
  pecked decked
  pecker decker
  peckers deckers
  pecking decking
  pecks decks
pee D
peel deal
  peeler dealer
  peelers dealers
  peeling dealing
  peelings dealings
  peels deals
peep peed
peer dear
  peers dears
peer deer
pees D's
pelf delf
pelt dealt
pen den
  pens dens
pence dense
penny Denny
peri deary
  peris dearies
perk dirk
  perks dirks
pert dirt
Perth dearth
pet debt
  pets debts
pew dew
pew due
  pews dues
pi Di
pi die
pi dye
pick Dick
picker dicker
  pickers dickers
pie Di
pie die
  pies dies
pie dye
  pies dyes
pied died
pied pipe
pier dear
  piers dears
pier dear
pier deer
pig dig
  pigging digging
  pigs digs
pike dike
  pikes dikes
pike dyke
  pikes dykes
pill dill
pimple dimple
  pimpled dimpled
  pimples dimples
pin din
  pinning dinning
  pins dins
pine dine
  pined dined
  pines dines
  pining dining
pine dyne
  pines dynes
pitch ditch
  pitched ditched
  pitches ditches
  pitching ditching
pity ditty
  pities ditties
pivot divot
  pivots divots
pixie dixie
  pixies dixies
plop plod
  plopping plodding
  plops plods
plump plumbed
pock dock
  pocked docked
  pocks docks
pocket docket
  pocketed docketed
  pocketing docketing
  pockets dockets
podgy dodgy
pole dole
  poles doles
poll dole
  polled doled
  polling doling
  polls doles
poll doll
  polls dolls
Polly dolly
poly dolly
  polys dollies
pond donned
poodle doodle
  poodles doodles
pooh do
poor dour
  poorly dourly
pop pod
  popping podding
  pops pods
Pope dope
  Popes dopes
pore daw
  pores daws
pore door
  pores doors
porn dawn
porter daughter
  porters daughters
pose does
pose dohs
pose doze
  posed dozed
  poses dozes
  posing dozing
posies dozes
posses dosses
post dosed
pot dot
  potted dotted
  pots dots
  potting dotting
potty dotty
  pottier dottier
  pottiest dottiest
pound downed
pour daw
  pours daws
pour door
  pours doors
pout doubt
  pouted doubted
  pouting doubting
  pouts doubts
power dower
  powered dowered
  powering dowering
  powers dowers
pox docks
praise drays
pram drachm
  prams drachms
pram dram
  prams drams
prank drank
prawn drawn
pray dray
  prays drays
press dress
  pressed dressed
  presses dresses
  pressing dressing
  pressings dressings
prey dray
  preys drays
pride dried
prima dreamer
prink drink
  prinking drinking
  prinks drinks
prior drier
  priors driers
prise dries
prize dries
prole droll
prone drone
prop drop
  propped dropped
  propping dropping
  props drops
prop prod
  propping prodding
  props prods
prows drowse
Pru drew
pry dry
  pried dried
  pries dries
  prying drying
pub dub
  pubs dubs
puce deuce
puck duck
  pucks ducks
pug Doug
pug dug
  pugs dugs
puke duke
  pukes dukes
pump dump
  pumped dumped
  pumping dumping
  pumps dumps
pun done
pun dun
  punned dunned
  punning dunning
  puns duns
punk dunk
  punks dunks
purge dirge
  purges dirges
pursed durst
pyorrhoea diarrhoea
pyre dire
pyre dyer
  pyres dyers
pyxes dixies
quip quid
  quips quids
ramp rammed
rape raid
  rapes raids
  raping raiding
rape rayed
reap read
  reaper reader
  reapers readers
  reaping reading
  reaps reads
reap reed
  reaps reeds
rep read
rep red
repp read
repp red
repress redress
  repressed redressed
  represses redresses
  repressing redressing
rip rid
  ripping ridding
  rips rids
ripe ride
riper rider
Ripon ridden
ripple riddle
  rippled riddled
  ripples riddles
  rippling riddling
rope road
rope rode
rope rowed
ropeway roadway
  ropeways roadways
sap sad
sapling saddling
sapper sadder
scarp scarred
seep cede
  seeping ceding
  seeps cedes
seep seed
  seeping seeding
  seeps seeds
sepia seedier
shape shade
  shapes shades
  shaping shading
sharp shard
sheep she'd
shop shod
sip Sid
skimp skimmed
skip skid
  skipping skidding
  skips skids
slip slid
sloop slewed
slope slowed
slump slummed
snipe snide
snoop snood
soap sewed
soap sowed
sop sod
  sopping sodding
  sops sods
steep steed
step stead
steppe stead
stoep stood
stripe stride
  stripes strides
sump summed
sweep swede
tenpences tendencies
thump thumbed
tippler tiddler
  tipplers tiddlers
tope toad
  topes toads
tope toed
tope towed
topi toady
  topis toadies
topple toddle
  toppled toddled
  topples toddles
  toppling toddling
trap trad
tripe tried
troop trued
troupe trued
type tide
type tied
typing tiding
upper udder
  uppers udders
warp ward
  warping warding
  warps wards
warp warred
weep we'd
weep weed
  weeping weeding
  weeps weeds
whelp weld
  whelping welding
  whelps welds
whelp welled
whoop who'd
whoopee woody
whop wad
  whopping wadding
wipe wide
  wiper wider
yelp yelled

John Higgins, Shaftesbury, January 2010.