Consonants /r/ versus /j/, 79 pairs     [ramyam.html]

The /r/ sound is spelled with <r> or <rr>. The /j/ sound is spelled with <y>, <qu> in /kj/ clusters and is heard in the letter name U.

This is a contrast between an alvolar retroflex continuant and a palatal semivowel, both voiced. It only ocurs initially or in initial clusters. In spite of the similarity it is not a problem.

Interesting pairs include:

Roman yeoman

The mean density value is 0.6%. The lists make 48 semantic distinctions, a loading of 61%.

accrues accuse
Crewe cue
Crewe Q
Crewe queue
crew cue
  crews cues
crew Q
  crews Q's  
crew queue
  crewed queued
  crewing queueing
  crews queues
drew dew 
droop dupe
  drooped duped
  drooping duping
  droops dupes
Frome fume
overdrew overdue
Pru pew
rack yak
  racks yaks
rah yah
raise yeas
ram yam
  rams yams
rank yank 
  ranked yanked
  ranking yanking
  ranks yanks 
rap yap
  rapped yapped
  rapping yapping
  raps yaps
rate Yate 
raw yaw
raw yore
raw your
ray yea
  rays yeas
re ye
rear year
  rears years
reeled yield
rend yenned
Rennes yen
ret yet
roar yaw
  roared yawed
  roars yaws
roar yore
roar your
rob yob
  robs yobs
Roman yeoman
roo U  
  roos U's
roo you
rood you'd
roos use
roost used
rot yacht
  rots yachts
  rotted yachted
  rotting yachting
rue U 
  ruse U's
rue you
rung young
ruse use
  ruses uses
screw skew
strew stew 
  strewed stewed 
  strewing stewing 
  strews stews 
Troon tune
wren yen
  wrens yens

John Higgins, Shaftesbury, December 2010.