Vowels 14 and 20, // versus /ʊə/    19 pairs      [buyboor.html]

The // diphthong is spelled <iCe>, <ie> and <y>. The /ʊə/ diphthong is spelled <ure> or <oor>.

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

Interesting pairs include:

shyly surely

The density figure is 1.8%. The set makes 10 semantic contrasts giving a loading of 52.6%.

ally allure
  allied allured
  allies allures
bine bourn
  bines bournes
buy boor
  buys boors 
by boor
bye boor
  byes boors
guide gourd 
  guides gourds 
lie lure
  lies lures
shyly surely
spy spoor
  spies spoors
tie tour
  ties tours

John Higgins, Shaftesbury, December 2009