Minimal Pair List Vowels 8 and 14, /ʊ/ versus / aɪ / 50 pairs
The /ʊ/ vowel is usually spelled <oo>, <u>, and <oul> should .The / aɪ / vowel is spelled <iCe> or <igh>, and turns up as <ei> in the loan word Reich . The computer picked out three more minmal pair sets arising from the contrast of /ʊə/ with the triphthong / aɪə /, namely bourse/bias , moor/mire and tour/tire . I have taken these out of the list since /ʊ/ and /ʊə/ are normally regarded as distinct phonemes.
This is a contrast between a short vowel and a diphthong, fairly well separated in the mouth. There is very little likelihood of confusion.
Interesting pairs include:
The density figure is 2.55%. The set makes 22 semantic contrasts giving a loading of 44%.
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