Minimal Pair List Vowels 11 and 14, /3/ versus / aɪ / 175 pairs

   Minimal pair: Vowels 11 and 14, /3/ versus / aɪ / 175 pairs

The /3/ vowel is spelled with <er>, <ir>, <ear>, <ur>, <our> in tourney and <or> in worldly . The / aɪ / vowel is spelled <iCe>, <igh> or <y>, and is seen in the letter names I and Y . Notice how the homograph insert turns up in two different pairs with different stress patterns, insert/incite and insert/insight .

This is a contrast between a long vowel and a diphthong. The starting positions are fairly close but it does not seem to be a problem for learners.

Interesting pairs include:

concern consign
fervour fiver
turtle title

The density figure is 5.68%. The set makes 89 semantic contrasts giving a loading of 50.8%.

alert alight
  alerted alighted
  alerting alighting
  alerts alights
Bert bight
Bert bight
bird bide 
  birds bides 
blurt blight 
  blurted blighted 
  blurting blighting 
  blurts blights 
burble Bible 
  burbles Bibles 
burke bike 
  burked biked 
  burkes bikes 
  burking biking 
burn bine
  burns bines 
burned bind 
burr buy
  burrs buys
burr by
burr bye  
  burrs byes
cert cite
  certs cites
cert sight
  certs sights
cert site
  certs sites  
churn chine 
  churns chines 
circle cycle
  circled cycled
  circles cycles
  circling cycling
concern consign
  concerned consigned
  concerning consigning
  concerns consigns
conferred confide
cowherd cowhide
  cowherds cowhides
curt kite
defer defy
  deferred defied
  defers defies
demurs demise 
derv dive
dirk dike 
  dirks dikes 
durst diced 
earl I'll 
earl aisle
  earls aisles 
earl isle
  earls isles  
err I
  erred I'd 
  errs I's 
Erse ice
fern fine
  ferns fines
fervour fiver
flirt flight 
  flirted flighted 
  flirting flighting 
  flirts flights 
furl file 
  furled filed 
  furling filing 
  furls files 
gird guide
  girded guided
  girding guiding
  girds guides
girl guile
heard hide
herd hide
  herding hiding
  herds hides
her hi
her high
hers hies
hertz heights 
hurt height 
insert incite 
  inserted incited 
  inserting inciting 
  inserts incites 
insert insight
  inserts insights
invert invite
  inverted invited
  inverting inviting
  inverts invites
learn line
  learned lined
  learning lining
  learns lines
learner liner
  learners liners
long-term long-time
lurk like 
  lurked liked 
  lurking liking 
  lurks likes 
murk Mike 
nerves knives 
nurse nice 
pearl pile
  pearled piled
  pearling piling
  pearls piles
perk pike
  perks pikes
purr pi
purr pie
  purrs pies 
  purred pied 
sermon Simon 
Shirley shyly
sir sigh
  sirs sighs 
slur sly
slurred slide 
spirt spite
  spirted spited
  spirting spiting
  spirts spites
spurn spine 
  spurns spines 
spurred spied 
spur spy
  spurs spies 
Stirling styling
stir sty
  stirs sties 
surd side 
  surds sides 
term time
  termed timed
  terming timing
  terms times
tern tine 
  terns tines
tourney tiny 
Turk tike
  Turks tikes
turn tine
  turned tined 
  turns tines
turps types
turtle title 
  turtles titles 
ugh I 
verb vibe
  verbs vibes
verse vice
  verses vices
were why
were Y
wert Wight 
wert white
whirl while 
  whirled whiled 
  whirling whiling 
  whirls whiles 
whirr why
whirred wide
whirr Y
  whirrs Y's 
worldly wildly