Minimal Pair List Vowels 19 and 20, / eə / versus / ʊə / 26 pairs

   Minimal pair: Vowels 19 and 20, / eə / versus / ʊə / 26 pairs

The / eə / diphthong is spelled <are>, <air> or <ear>. The / ʊə / diphthong is spelled <ure>, <our> or <oor>.

This is a contrast between two diphthongs with widely different starting positions and a difference of lip rounding. It is not a problem for learners.

Interesting pairs include:

hairy houri

The density figure is 2.47%. The set makes 15 semantic contrasts giving a loading of 57.7%.

bairn bourn
  bairns bourns
bare boor
  bares boors
bear boor
  bears boors  
bearish boorish
dare dour
hairy houri
lair lure
  lairs lures
laird lured
layer lure
  layers lyres
  layered lured
mare moor 
  mares moors 
pair poor
share sure
spare spoor
  spares spoors
tare tour
  tares tours
tear tour
  tears tours  
  tearing touring