Minimal Pair List Vowels 3 and 20, /e/ versus / ʊə / 11 pairs

   Minimal pair: Vowels 3 and 20, /e/ versus / ʊə / 11 pairs

The /e/ vowel is spelled <e> throughout. The diphthong / ʊə / is spelled <our>, <oor> or <ur> in jury . The pair congress/congruous is of doubtful status since congruous would normally be perceived as a three-syllable word in which / ʊə / is two vowels and not a diphthong. This dictionary gives / bʊən / as the preferred pronunciation of bourne , though another common pronunciation is / bɔn /.

This is a contrast bewteen a short front vowel and a back centring diphthong, and is no rpblem for any learner.

The mean density is low at 0.2%. The pairs make 9 semantic contrasts, giving a high loading of 82%.

ben bourn
  bens bournes
Bess bourse
congress congruous
Delhi dourly
jerry jury
  jerries juries
lead lured
Les lures
Med moored
Ted toured