Consonants // versus /j/, 5 pairs     [thenyen.html]

The // sound is spelled with <th>. The /j/ sound is spelled with <y>.

This is a contrast between a dental fricative and a palatal semivowel, both voiced and fairly close together in the mouth, but the contrast does not cause problems.

The contrast only occurs initially and is very rare since only a few words, mainly function words being with //. The mean density value is very low at 0.1%. The list makes 5 semantic distinctions, a loading of 100%.

thee ye
then yen	 
their Yare
there Yare
they yea

John Higgins, Shaftesbury, November 2010.