Consonants /t/ versus /j/, 89 pairs     [tackyack.html]

The spelling of /t/ is <t> and we also see a silent letter combination <tw> in two. The /j/ sound is <y> or <ew> in ewe and occurs in the letter name U. All the pairs but one show the sounds contrasting initially in the word. I discarded reluctantly the pair Toto/yoyo. The two common pronunciations of your make pairs with tore and tour.

The contrast is between a voiceless plosive and a voiced semivowel, fairly close together in the mouth. It is not a problem for learners.

Interesting pairs include:

sorter sawyer toga yoga

The mean density value is 0.5%. The list makes 45 semantic distinctions, a loading of 60%.

sorter sawyer
  sorters sawyers 
T ye
ta yah
tack yak
  tacks yaks
tack yack
  tacks yacks
  tacking yacking
  tacked yacked  
tail Yale  	
tale Yale
talk york 
  talks yorks
  talked yorked
  talking yorking
tall yawl
tank yank 
  tanked yanked
  tanking yanking
  tanks yanks 
tap yap
  tapped yapped
  tapping yapping
  taps yaps
tar yah
tarn yarn
  tarns yarns
tarred yard	 
tatters yatters
tawse yours
Tay yea
tea ye
tear year
  tears years
te ye
tell yell
  telling yelling
  tells yells
ten yen
  tens yens
tern yearn
  terns yearns
Tess yes
to ewe
to U 
to yew
to you
toga yoga	
tongue young  
too ewe
too yew
too you
tool you'll
tool Yule
tooth youth
toque yoke
toques yokes
tor yaw
  tors yaws
tor yore  
tor your
tors yours
tore yaw  
torn yawn	
torque york
tot yacht
  tots yachts
totted yachted
totting yachting
tour your
  tours yours  
towel yowl
  towels yowls
tuck yuck
tucker yucca  
turn yearn
  turns yearns
  turned yearned
  turning yearning
  turnings yearnings
two ewe
  twos ewes
two U
  twos U's 
two yew
  twos yews
two you	
twos use

John Higgins, Shaftesbury, February 2010.