Minimal Pair List Vowels 4 and 19, /æ/ versus / eə / 33 pairs

   Minimal pair: Vowels 4 and 19, /æ/ versus /eə/ 33 pairs

The /æ/ vowel is spelled <a> followed by two consonants or by one consonant in a monosyllable. The / eə / diphthong is spelled <air>, <are>, and <er> in the place name Termi .

This contrast is between a short vowel and a diphthong, but the starting positions are fairly close so confusions are possible, though not associated with particular nationality.

Interesting pairs include:

Alice airless
callous careless
harrier hairier

The density value is 3.43%. The pairs make 26 semantic contrasts, giving a high loading of 78.8%.

ad aired
Alice airless
as airs 
bad bared
bally barely
ban bairn 
  bans bairns
cad cared
callous careless
  callously carelessly
  callousness carelessness
can cairn
  cans cairns 
Chad chaired
Chas chairs
dad dared
fad fared
farrow Pharaoh 
  farrows Pharaohs 
glad glared
had hared
harrier hairier 
Harry hairy
has hairs 
lad laird
  lads lairds
marry Mary 
pad paired
rabbit rarebit
  rabbits rarebits
rally rarely
shad shared
tammy Termi