Consonants /t/ versus /ŋ/, 140 pairs     [batbang.html]

The spelling of /t/ is <t> or <tt>. The /ŋ/ sound is <ng> or <ngue> in tongue. Inflected forms with -s have been included even where not strictly minimal. See the discussion under "Problems" on the main page.

The contrast is between a voiceless plosive and a voiced nasal continuant, well separated in the mouth. It is not a problem for learners.

The only mildly taboo word pair is tits/tings.

This is a fairly short list even though both sounds are fairly common in the language. The reason is that the /ŋ/ sound can only occur in syllable final position following a short vowel. A great many of the pairs arise from contrasting a noun ending in /ɪt/ with a present participle such as basket/basking. Other interesting pairs include:

hatter hangar
starlit starling

The mean density value is 0.7%. The list makes 98 semantic distinctions, a loading of 73%.

allot along
bandit banding 
  bandits bandings
basket basking
bat bang 		   
  bats bangs
  batting banging 
batter banger 
  batters bangers 
billet billing
Bridget bridging
Brit bring
bucket bucking
buffet buffing
but bung 
butt bung
  butts bungs
  butting bunging 
carpet carping
circlet circling
civet sieving
clatter clanger 
  clatters clangers 
cornet corning
corset coursing
couplet coupling	
  couplets couplings
cricket cricking
cruet crewing 
cubit cubing 
docket docking
doublet doubling
driblet dribbling 
drugget drugging
fat fang 		
  fats fangs
faucet forcing
fillet filling
  fillets fillings
flit fling 
  flits flings
  flitting flinging 
GATT gang
gibbet jibbing
goblet gobbling 
got gong 
gullet gulling
hat hang 
hatchet hatching
hatter hangar 
  hatters hangars 
hornet horning
hut hung 
jacket jacking
kit king 
lancet lancing 
legate legging
  legates leggings
limit limning
limpet limping
lit ling 
locket locking
lot long 
  lots longs
market marking
  markets markings
matchet matching
millet milling
mullet mulling
packet packing
palette palling
pat pang
  pats pangs
permit perming 
picket picking
  picket pickings
pit ping 
  pits pings
  pitting pinging  
pitter pinger
  pitters pingers
pitta pinger    
planet planning
plummet plumbing 
poppet popping
pullet pulling
punnet punning
racket racking
rat rang 
refit reefing 
rocket rocking
rot wrong
  rots wrongs
  rotting wronging
rut rung 
  ruts rungs
sat sang 
singlet singling
sit sing 
  sits sings
  sitting singing 
sitter singer 
  sitters singers 
slat slang 
slit sling 
  slits slings
  slitting slinging 
slut slung 
snippet snipping
socket socking
sot song 
  sots songs
sprat sprang 
sprit spring 
  sprits springs
starlit starling 
strut strung 
summit summing 
surfeit surfing
tat tang 
tatty tangy 
  tattier tangier 
  tattiest tangiest 
ticket ticking
tippet tipping
tit ting 
  tits tings
toilet toiling
trumpet trumping
tut tongue 
  tuts tongues
whippet whipping
  whippets whippings
whit wing
wit wing
  wits wings   
witter winger
  witters wingers
writ ring 
  writs rings

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