Minimal Pair List Vowels 2 and 8, / ɪ / versus / ʊ / 64 pairs
Vowel / ɪ / is spelled with <i> except for <ei> in forfeit . Vowel / ʊ / is either <u> or <oo> except for <o> in wolf and <ou> in patchouli .
Both vowels are short and fairly central in the mouth but differ in lip-rounding. There is a slight potential for confusion, but they do not seem to constitute a specific problem for any one nationality, perhaps because most foreign learners will in any case tend to make vowel 8 into a more of a back-rounded vowel than native speakers do.
The mean density values is 0.3%, though this is distorted since vowel 2 is very common while vowel 8 is rare. The list makes 38 semantic contrasts giving a loading of 56%.
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