Consonants /d/ versus /ʒ/, 9 pairs     [ruderouge.html]

The spelling of /d/ is <d> or <dd>. The /ʒ/ sound is spelled <ge> or <zu>.

The contrast is between a stop and a fricative, both voiced and fairly close in the mouth. It might be a slight problem for speakers of languages which do not have the /ʒ/ sound, such as German and Arabic.

The consonant /d/ can occur in any position in the syllable, but /ʒ/ only occurs finally or intervocalically, other than in foreign names or loan words such as gendarme. /ʒ/ is in any case a very rare phoneme, found in only 334 words in the source dictionary.

The figure for the mean density of this contrast is 0.1%. The set makes 7 semantic contrasts, a loading of 77%.

adder azure
  adders azures
bayed beige
brewed Bruges 
brood Bruges
cedar seizure
  cedars seizures
rood rouge
rude rouge

John Higgins, Shaftesbury, January 2010.