Minimal Pair List Vowels 7 and 19, /ɔ/ versus / eə / 168 pairs

   Minimal pair: Vowels 7 and 19, /ɔ/ versus /eə/ 168 pairs

The /ɔ/ vowel is usually spelled <or>, <our>, <oar>, <au>, <aw>, and <ar> after <w> in war . The / eə / diphthong is spelled <are>, <air>, <ear>, and <ea> in yeah . Note how in the case of bear/bore and swear/swore the contrast signals only a tense change.

This is a contrast between a long vowel and a diphthong. The starting positions are a long way apart there is no risk of confusion.

Interesting pairs include:

foreground fairground
orally airily
squally squarely

Since / eə / is a relatively uncommon phoneme, the density figure is one of the highest at 17.46%. The set makes 94 semantic contrasts giving a loading of 56%.

afore affair 
Audrey Airdrie 	 
awe air
  awed aired 
  awes airs 
awe Ayr
awe heir
awe ere
bawd bared 
boar bare 
  boars bares 	
boar bear
  boars bears  
bore bare
  bored bared
  boring baring
  bores bares
bore bear
  bores beras
  boring bearing  
board bared
borer barer 
  borers bearers 
born bairn
borne bairn
bourn bairn
cause cares 
caw care
  caws cares
  cawed cared 
chaw chair
  chawed chaired 
  chaws chairs 
chore chair 
  chores chairs
core care 
  coring caring 
  cores cares
corn cairn 
  corns cairns 
daunt daren't 
daw dare
  daws dares 
door dare 
  doors dares
dory dairy 
  dories dairies 
Fawley fairly
flaw flare
  flawed flared 
  flaws flares
flaw flair
  flaws flairs 
floor flair 
floor flare
  floors flares
  flooring flaring 
  floored flared
for fair 	 
for fare
fore fair
fore fare
four fair
  fours fairs
four fare
  fours fares  
forbore forbear 
ford fared 
foreground fairground 
  foregrounds fairgrounds 
foreswore foreswear 
gnaw ne'er
haw hair
  haws hairs
haw hare
  hawed hared 
haw Herr
hoar hair
hoar hare
hoar Herr 
hoary hairy 
  hoarier hairier 
  hoariest hairiest 
  hoariness hairiness 
laud laird 
  lauds lairds 
law lair
  laws lairs 
lor lair 
lord laird
  lords lairds
lore lair
maw mare
  maws mares 
more mare 
nor ne'er 
o'er air
o'er ere
o'er heir
o'er Ayr 
orally airily 
oration aeration 
  orations aerations 
oriel aerial 
  oriels aerials 
overbore overbear 
pause pairs 
pause pears
paw pair
  pawed paired 
  paws pairs
paw pear
  paws pears
pore pair 
  poring pairing 
  pores pairs
  pored paired
pore pear
  pores pears
pour pair
  pours pairs
  pouring pairing
  poured paired  
pour pear
  pours pears
raw rare
roar rare 
  roaring raring 
score scare 
  scored scared 
  scores scares 
  scoring scaring 
shore share 
  shored shared 
  shores shares 
  shoring sharing 
snore snare 
  snored snared 
  snores snares 
  snoring snaring 
spore spare 
  spores spares 
squally squarely
squaw square
  squaws squares 
store stair 
  stores stairs 
store stare
  stored stared 
  storing staring 
  stores stares
swore swear 
tawse tares 
tor tare 
  tors tares
tore tare
war ware 
  wars wares 	 
war wear
  warring wearing 
  wars wears
ward wared
whore hair
  whores hairs
whore hare
  whores hares
whore Herr    
yaw yeah