Vowels 7 and 8, /ɔ/ versus /ʊ/    66 pairs      [corkcook.html]

The /ɔ/ vowel is spelled <a>, <al>, <au>, <or> or <aw>. The /ʊ/ vowel is spelled <oo> or <u>.

One of the sounds is long and the other short. Although they are fairly close in tongue position, they should not cause problems for learners.

Interesting pairs include:

gaudy goodie
hawker hookah
warden wooden

The density figure is 3.37%. The set makes 31 semantic contrasts giving a loading of 47%.

balk book
  balked booked
  balking booking
  balks books
ball bull
  balls bulls
borsch bush
bortsch butch
calk cook
  calked cooked
  calking cooking
  calks cooks
cawed could
cork cook
  corked cooked
  corking cooking
  corks cooks
corker cooker 
  corkers cookers 
fall full
Fawley fully 
fort foot 
  forts foots 
gaud good
  gauds goods
gaudy goody
  gaudies goodies
hawed hood
hawk hook
  hawked hooked
  hawking hooking
  hawks hooks
hawker hookah  
  hawkers hookahs
hawker hooker	
  hawker hookers
hoard hood
  hoarded hooded
  hoarding hooding
  hoards hoods
horde hood
  hordes hoods  
outport output
pall pull
  palled pulled
  palling pulling
  palls pulls
Paul pull
pawed pud
porches putsches
port put
  ports puts
shored should
sort soot 
  sorted sooted 
  sorting sooting 
  sorts soots 
stored stood 
talk took
wall wool
  walls wools
ward wood
  wards woods
  warded wooded
warden wooden
Warley woolly

John Higgins, Shaftesbury, November 2009
updated Chiang Mai, 2024