Consonants /z/ versus /w/, 24 pairs     [zipwhip.html]

The /z/ sound is spelled with <z>. The /w/ sound is spelled with <w> or <wh>. The contrast can only occur initially.

This is a contrast between an alveolar sibilant fricative and a bilabial semivowel, both voiced. It is not a problem.

The mean density value is very low at 0.2%. The list makes 13 semantic distinctions, a loading of 57%.

Z wed
  Z's weds
zee we 
zee wee
  zees wees
zees wheeze
Zen wen
Zen when
zest west 
zinc wink 
zing wing 
  zings wings
  zinged winged
zip whip 
  zipped whipped 
  zipping whipping 
  zips whips 
zither whither 
zither wither
  zithers withers 
zoo woo 
  zoos woos 
zoom womb 
  zooms wombs 

John Higgins, Shaftesbury, November 2010.