Minimal Pair List Vowels 8 and 16, /ʊ/ versus / əʊ / 29 pairs
The /ʊ/ vowel is usually spelled <oo>, <u>, and <oul> in should . The / əʊ / diphthong is spelled <oCe>, <oa> or <ow>. The computer also found the pair luring/lowering , but I have taken that out since the / ʊə / diphthong in luring is best treated as a distinct phoneme, and some speakers would use a palatal glide in any case.
This is a contrast between a short vowel and a diphthong, fairly close in their starting positions in the mouth. There is some likelihood of confusion though not associated with any one group of learners.
The density figure is 1.48%. The set makes 18 semantic contrasts giving a loading of 62%.
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