Consonants /Ɵ/ versus /ʃ/, 46 pairs     [thinshin.html]

The /Ɵ/ sound is spelled with <th>. The /ʃ/ sound is spelled with <sh> or <che>.

These are two voiceless fricatives, fairly close in the mouth though one is more dental and the other more palatal and sibilant. In a way it is surprising that the contrast causes rather few problems, though this is partly because there are not many minimal pairs, giving some support to the O'Connor conjecture.

The mean density value is 1.2%. The list makes 25 semantic distinctions, a loading of 54%.

Cath cache	 
Cath cash
cloth cloche 
Goth gosh 
hath hash 
hearth harsh 
thank shank 
  thanks shanks 
  thanking shanking
  thanked shanked
thaw shore
  thawed shored 
  thaws shores 
theorist sheerest 
thief sheaf 
  thieves sheaves 
thigh shy 
  thighs shies 
thin shin 
  thinned shinned 
  thinning shinning 
  thins shins
thirty shirty 
thole shoal 
  tholes shoals 
thorn shorn
thought short 
  thoughts shorts 
thread shred 
  threaded shredded 
  threading shredding 
  threads shreds 
threw shrew 
thrift shrift 
thrill shrill 
  thrilled shrilled 
  thrilling shrilling 
  thrills shrills 
thriller shriller 
thrive shrive 
  thrived shrived 
  thrives shrives 
  thriving shriving 
throve shrove 
wealth Welsh 
withe wish 

John Higgins, Shaftesbury, November 2010.