Minimal Pair List Vowels 12 and 16, /ə/ versus / əʊ / 67 pairs

   Minimal pair: Vowels 12 and 16, /ə/ versus / əʊ / 67 pairs

The schwa has many spellings. The / əʊ / diphthong is spelled <oCe>, <o>, <ow>, and <eau> in rondeau , and occurs in the letter name O .

This is a contrast between a short vowel which is always unstressed and a diphthong. It is not in itself a problem for learners.

Interesting pairs include:

holler hollow
platter plateau
vacation vocation

The density figure is 1.04%. The set makes 39 semantic contrasts giving a loading of 58.2%.

a O 
Allah aloe
avert overt
Bella bellow
borough burrow
  boroughs burrows
Calor callow
canter canto
  canters cantos
commander commando
  commanders commandoes
'em ohm
fellah fellow
feller fellow
  fellers fellows
ferment foment
  fermented fomented
  fermenting fomenting
  ferments foments
hearer hero
  hearers heroes
h'm home
  h'mming homing
  h'ms homes
holler hollow
  hollered hollowed
  hollers holloas
lager largo
  lagers largos
leader lido
  leaders lidos
limber limbo
  limbers limbos
linger lingo
  lingers lingoes
marina merino
  marinas merinos
oriel aureole 
  oriels aureoles 
pillar pillow
  pillared pillowed
  pillars pillows
platter plateau
  platters plateaus 
quarter quarto
  quarters quartos
rector recto
  rectors rectos
Rhondda rondeau
romance Romance 
salad sallowed	   
salver salvo
  salvers salvoes
silicon silicone
temper tempo
  tempers tempos
the tho'
to toe
to tow
toga Togo 
'un own
vacation vocation
  vacations vocations
wallah wallow
  wallahs wallows
winner winnow  
  winners winnows