Consonants /v/ versus /r/, 141 pairs     [vampramp.html]

The /v/ sound is spelled with <v>, <ve> or <vv> in savvy. The /r/ sound is spelled <r>, <rr> or <wr> in wry.

The /v/ sound is a voiced labio-dental fricative. The /r/ sound is normally described as a voiced frictionless continuant or liquid. It has many allophones in RP, including a voiced continuant with grooved or retroflex tongue position before vowels, a single tap resembling /d/ intervocalically, and a voiceless fricative after /t/. The contrast can only occur initially or medially and is not generally a problem for foreign learners, but some speakers, including native speakers, may have a problem when it occurs medially if they also make r/w substitutions.

Interesting pairs include:

ever error
gavotte garotte
starving starring
valid rallied
vector rector
vigorous rigorous
votary rotary

The mean density value is 1%. The list makes 79 semantic distinctions, a loading of 56%.

avid arid 
  avidity aridity 
avows arouse 
bevy berry
  bevies berries 
bevy bury 
  bevies buries
Cavan Carron 
cavil carol 
  cavilled carolled 
  cavilling carolling 
  cavils carols 
civil Cyril 
covey curry
  coveys curries
divide deride 
  divided derided 
  divides derides 
  dividing deriding 
division derision 
ever error 
gavotte garotte 
  gavottes garottes 
hover horror 
  hovers horrors 
kvass crass 
outvied outride 
pervade parade 
  pervaded paraded 
  pervades parades 
  pervading parading 
starving starring 
V re
vac rack 
  vacs racks 
vain rain 
vain rein
vain reign
vale rail 
  vales rails 
valid rallied 
valley rally 
  valleys rallies 
vamp ramp 
  vamped ramped 
  vamping ramping 
  vamps ramps 
vane rain 
  vanes rains 
vane rein
  vanes reins
vane reign	 
  vanes reigns
vapid rapid 
  vapidity rapidity 
  vapidly rapidly 
vat rat 
  vats rats 
vector rector 
  vectors rectors 
veer rear 
veered reared 
veering rearing 
veers rears 
veiled railed 
veiling railing 
vein rain 
  veined rained 
  veins rains
vein rein
  veins reins	
  veined reined
vein reign	 
  veins reigns
  veined reigned
vend rend 
  vending rending 
  vends rends 
vendor render 
  vendors renders 
vent rent 
  vented rented 
  venting renting 
  vents rents 
vest rest 
  vested rested 
  vesting resting 
  vests rests 
vet ret 
  vetted retted 
  vetting retting 
  vets rets
vetch retch
  vetches retches 
vetch wretch
  vetches wretches 
vex Rex 
Vic Rick 
vice rice 
Vicky Ricky 
victual Writtle 
vie rye 
vie wry
vied Ryde 
vied ride
vies rise 
vigour rigour
  vigorous rigorous 
  vigorously rigorously 
vigour rigger 
vile rile 
vim rim 
Vince rinse
vine Rhine 
viper riper 
visible risible 
  visibility risibility 
visor riser 
  visors risers 
vogue rogue 
  vogues rogues 
vole rôle 
  voles rôles 
vole roll 
  voles rolls 
votary rotary 
  votaries rotaries 
vote rote 
vote wrote
voter rota
  voters rotas 
voter rotor 
   voters rotors
vow row 
  vows rows
  vowed rowed 
  vowing rowing 
vowel rowel 
  vowels rowels 
vows rouse 
vox rocks 

John Higgins, Shaftesbury, November 2010.