Minimal Pair List Vowels 14 and 18, / aɪ / versus / ɪə / 81 pairs

   Minimal pair: Vowels 14 and 18, / aɪ / versus / ɪə / 81 pairs

The / aɪ / diphthong is spelled <iCe>, <i>, <y> and <ey> in eye , besides occurring in the letter names I and Y . The / ɪə / diphthong is spelled <ear>, <eer>, <ere> or <eir> in weir . One interesting point arises with the pairs wire/weir and wired/weird which are not strictly minimal though they would be in a rhotic accent.

This is a contrast between two diphthongs with different starting positions and different directions of movement. It is not a problem for learners.

Interesting pairs include:

arise arrears
revise reveres

The density figure is 2.01%. The set makes 47 semantic contrasts giving a loading of 58%.

arise arrears
bide beard 
  bided bearded 
  bides beards 
  biding bearding 
buy beer
  buys beers 
buy bier
  buys biers
by beer  
by bier
bye beer
  byes beers
bye bier
  byes biers  
chide cheered 
die dear
  dies dears 
die deer
dye dear
  dyes dears  
dye deer
eye ear
  eyes ears
eyeful earful 
  eyefuls earfuls 
eyepiece earpiece 
  eyepieces earpieces 
guide geared 
guy gear
  guys gears
  guyed geared
hi hear
hi here
hie hear
  hies hears 
hie here
high hear
  highs hears
high here  
I ear
  I's ears
lie leer
  lied leered 
  lies leers 
line lien 
  lines liens 
pie peer
  pied peered 
  pies peers 
revise reveres 
ride reared
rile real 
rise rears 
rye rear
rye rhea 
shy shear
  shied sheared 
  shies shears 
shy sheer  
snide sneered 
spy spear
  spied speared 
  spies spears 
sty steer
  sties steers 
tie tear
  ties tears
vie veer
  vied veered 
  vies veers 
why weir
why weir
wide weird 
  widely weirdly 
  wider weirder 
  widest weirdest 
wise weirs
wryly really 
Y weir
  Y's weirs