Vowels 14 and 19, // versus //    96 pairs      [buybare.html]

The // diphthong is spelled <iCe>, <i>, <y> and <ey> in eye, besides occurring in the letter names I and Y. The // diphthong is spelled <are>, <air>, <ear> or <eir> in heir.

This is a contrast between two diphthongs with different starting positions and different directions of movement. It is not a problem for learners.

Interesting pairs include:

despise despairs

The density figure is high at 10%. The set makes 55 semantic contrasts giving a loading of 57.3%.

bide bared 
bine bairn 
  bines bairns 
buy bare
  buys bares 
buy bear
  buys bears
by bare
by bear
bye bare
  byes bares
bye bear
  byes bears     
chide chaired 
despise despairs 
die dare
  dies dares
  died dared 
dye dare  
  dyes dares 
  dyed dared
eye air
  eyes airs
eye heir
  eyes heirs
eye ere    
fly flair
  flies flairs 
fly flare
  flies flares  
glide glared 
hi hair	
hi hare
hide hared 
hie hair
  hies hairs 
hie hare
  hies hares
  hied hared
high hair
  highs hairs
high hare
  highs hares  
I air
  I's airs
I heir
  I's heirs
I ere      
I'd aired
kine cairn 
lie lair
  lies lairs 
lie layer
  lies layers
lied laird 
nine Nairn 
pi pair
pi pare
pi pear
pie pair
  pied paired 
  pies pairs 
pie pare
  pie pares  
  pied pared
pie pear
  pies pears  
pry prayer
  pries prayers 
shy share
  shied shared 
  shies shares 
sky scare
  skied scared 
  skies scares 
snide snared 
spy spare
  spied spared 
  spies spares 
sty stair
  sties stairs 
sty stare
  sties stares  
tie tare
  ties tares
tie tear
  ties tears  
why ware
why wear
wide wared 
wry rare
  wryly rarely 
Y ware
  Y's wares
Y wear
  Y's wears  

John Higgins, Shaftesbury, December 2009