Consonants /Ɵ/ versus /l/, 78 pairs     [thuglug.html]

The /Ɵ/ sound is spelled with <th>. The /l/ sound is spelled with <l> or <ll>.

This is a contrast between a voiceless dental and alveolar fricative and a voiced lateral continuant, fairly close together in the mouth. It is not a problem, although the sound /Ɵ/ is difficult for many learners.

Ome interesting oair is thicker/liquor.

Since the /Ɵ/ sound is of low frequency overall, the mean density value is low at 0.6%. The list makes 56 semantic distinctions, a loading of 72%.

both bole 
death dell	  
  deaths dells
doth dull
earth earl 
earthy early 
  earthier earlier 
  earthiest earliest 
faith fail 
forth fall 
fourth fall
  fourths falls
fourths false 
firth furl
  firths furls
girth girl 
hath Hal 
heath heal	  
  heaths heals
heath heel
  heaths heels 
Keith keel
kith kill 
Meath meal
moth moll 
myth mill 
'neath kneel
'neath Neil
Perth Pearl 
pith pill 
ruth rule
saith cell 
saith sell
sheathed shield
teeth teal 
thane lain 
thane lane
  thanes lanes 
thank lank 
thatch latch 
  thatched latched 
  thatches latches 
  thatching latching 
thaw law 
  thaws laws 
thaw lore
thawed laud 
thawed lord
theft left 
Theo Leo 
thick lick 
thicker liquor 
thief leaf 
thigh lie 
thighs lies 
things lings 
think link 
  thinking linking 
  thinks links 
thong long 
  thongs longs 
Thor law
Thor lore
thorn lawn
  thorns lawns 
thug lug 
  thugs lugs 
thump lump 
  thumped lumped 
  thumping lumping 
  thumps lumps 
tooth tool 
troth troll 
withe will 
worth whirl 
wraith rail 
  wraiths rails
wroth rôle 

John Higgins, Shaftesbury, November 2010.