Consonants /k/ versus /ʒ/, 4 pairs     [bakebeige.html]

The spelling of /k/ is <k> or <qu>. The /ʒ/ sound is spelled <ge> or <zu>.

The contrast is between a voiceless stop and a voiced fricative, well separated in the mouth. It might be a slight problem for speakers of languages which do not have the /ʒ/ sound, such as German and Arabic.

The /k/ sound can occur in any position in the syllable, but /ʒ/ only occurs finally or intervocalically, other than in foreign names or loan words such as gendarme. /ʒ/ is in any case a very rare phoneme, found in only 334 words in the source dictionary.

The figure for the mean density is too small to be worth calculating. The set makes 3 semantic contrasts, a loading of 75%.

seeker seizure
   seekers seizures
bake beige
plaque plage

John Higgins, Shaftesbury, January 2010,
updated Chiang Mai, May 2024