Vowels 9 and 19, /u/ versus //    66 pairs       [youyeah.html]

The /u/ vowel is spelled <oo>, <ew>, <ue> and <o> in who, and occurs in the letter name U. The // diphthong is spelled <areCe>, <air> and <ear> in bear.

There is one taboo word pair: coon/cairn.

One interesting pair is hoodoo/hairdo.

This is a contrast between a long vowel and a diphthong, widely separated in starting position and distinguished by lip-rounding. It is not a problem for any learners.

The density figure is 6.86%. The set makes 40 semantic contrasts giving a loading of 60.6%.

blew blare
blue blare
  blued blared 
  blues blares 
boo bare
  booed bared 
  boos bares
boo bear  	
  boos bears
boon bairn 
  boons bairns 
booze bares
booze bears
chew chair
  chewed chaired 
  chews chairs 
coo care
  cooed cared 
  coos cares 
coon cairn 
  coons cairns 
do dare
  do's dares 
flew flair
flew flare
flue flair
  flues flairs 
flue flare
  flues flares
food fared 
glue glare
  glued glared 
  glues glares 
hoodoo hairdo 
  hoodoos hairdos  
lieu lair
loo lair  
  loos lairs 
moo mare
  moos mares 
noon Nairn 
ooze airs 
shoe share
  shoes shares 
shoo share
  shooed shared 
  shoos shares
snood snared 
snooze snares 
too tare
two tare
  twos tares 
U yeah
who hair
who's hairs 
whose hairs
who hare
who's hares
whose hares
who'd hared 
woo ware
  wooed wared 
  woos wares 	
woo wear
  woos wears
you yeah

John Higgins, Shaftesbury, December 2009