Consonants /ʃ/ versus /w/, 136 pairs     [shotwatt.html]

The /ʃ/ sound is spelled with <sh> and <ch> in chaise. The /w/ sound is spelled with <w> or <wh>. Notice how the partial homograph Wear/wear makes pairs with shear and share.

This is a contrast between a voiceless alveolar fricative and a voiced bilabial semivowel. It can only occur initially or medially. It is not a problem.

Taboo word pairs include shag/wag, shank/wank and shit/wit.

The mean density value is 1.9%. The lists make 74 semantic distinctions, a loading of 54%.

chaise ways
chaise weighs
chic weak
chic week
schist whist
shack whack
  shacked whacked
  shacking whacking
  shacks whacks
shacks wax
shade wade
  shaded waded
  shades wades
  shading wading
shag wag
  shagged wagged
  shagging wagging
  shags wags
shake wake
  shaken waken
  shakes wakes
  shaking waking
shale wail
shank wank
  shanks wanks
share ware 
  shared wared
  shares wares
share wear
  sharing wearing
  shares wears
share where
shave waive
  shaved waived
  shaves waives
  shaving waiving
shave wave
  shaved waved
  shaves waves
  shaving waving
shaver waiver
  shavers waivers
shaver waver
  shavers wavers
shawl wall
  shawls walls
she we
she wee
shear Wear 
shear weir
  shears weirs
sheared weird
sheer Wear
sheer weir
sheaves weaves
shed wed
  shedding wedding
  sheds weds
shell well
  shelling welling
  shells wells 
  shelled welled
shelled weld
shelter welter
  sheltered weltered
  sheltering weltering
  shelters welters
sherry wherry
  sherries wherries
shied wide
shield weald
  shields wealds
shield wield
  shielded wielded
  shielding wielding
  shields wields
shies Y's
shindy windy
shine whine
  shines whines
  shining whining
shine wine
  shines wines  
  shining wining
ship whip
  shipped whipped
shire wire
  shires wires
shirk work
  shirked worked
  shirking working
  shirks works
shirker worker
  shirkers workers
shirt wert
shoaled wold
shod wad
shoddy wadi
shoe woo
  shoeing wooing
  shoes woos
shoo woo
  shoing wooing
  shoos woos
shone wan
shop whop
  shopped whopped
  shopping whopping
  shops whops
shopper whopper
  shoppers whoppers
shore war
shored ward
shores wars
shoring warring
shorn warn
short wart
  shorts warts
shorter water
shot watt
  shots watts
shot what
Shotts watts
should wood
should would
  shouldn't wouldn't
show whoa
show woe
  shows woes
showed woad
shun one
  shuns ones 
shun won
shy Y 
shy why
shyly wily

John Higgins, Shaftesbury, December 2010.