Vowels 7 and 13, /ɔ/ versus //    322 pairs      [faunfain.html]

The /ɔ/ vowel is usually spelled <or>, <our>, and <oar>, but we also see <al> in talk, <au> in haul, <aw> in awe and <ar> after <w> in sward and war. The // diphthong is usually spelled <aCe>, <ai> or <ay> but we also see <ey> in obeyed, <ei> in feign, <ea> in the archaic yea, and the letter names A, J and K. Note that I have included two pairings with the word overwrought since this dictionary treats overate and overrate as homophones.

This is a contrast between a long vowel and a diphthong, well separated in the mouth. It causes no problems.

Interesting pairs include:

aboard obeyed
porpoises papacies
defraud defrayed

The density figure is 6.91%. The set makes 170 semantic contrasts giving a loading of 53.1%.

aboard obeyed 
abort abate 
  aborted abated 
  aborting abating 
  aborts abates 
abroad abrade 
all ail 
aught eight
auk ache 
  auks aches 
awe A 
  awes A's 
awed aid 
awl ail
awls ails 
bald bailed 
balk bake 
  balked baked 
  balking baking 
  balks bakes 
ball bail 
  balling bailing 
  balls bails 
bauble babel 
  baubles babels 
bawd bade
bawd bayed
board bade
board bayed
boar bay
  boars bays
boar bey
  boars beys   
boars baize  
bore bay
  bores bays  
  bored bayed
bore bey
  bores bey		
bores baize  
bought bait 
bourn bane
brawl braille 
brawn brain 
  brawny brainy 
  brawnier brainier 
  brawniest brainiest 
broad braid 
  broads braids 
calk cake
  calked caked 
  calking caking 
  calks cakes 
call kail
caught Kate 
cause K's 
caw K 
  caws K's
claw clay
coarse case 
corbel cable 
  corbels cables 
cork cake
  corks cakes
  corking caking
  corked caked
corm came 
corn cane
  corned caned 
  corning caning 
  corns canes 
Corp cape
corpse capes 
course case
  coursed cased 
  courses cases 
  coursing casing 
  coursings casings 
court Kate
crawfish crayfish
  crawfishes crayfishes
crores craze 
daw day
Dawley daily
dawn Dane 
  dawns Danes 
dawn deign
  dawned deigned
  dawning deigning
  dawns deigns
daws days
daws daze
deform defame 
  deformed defamed 
  deforming defaming 
  deforms defames 
defraud defrayed
draw dray
drawer dray
  drawers drays
drawn drain 
fall fail 
  falling failing 
  falls fails 
faugh fey
faun fain 
faun feign
  fauns feigns
fawn fain
fawn feign
  fawned feigned
  fawning feigning
  fawns feigns
flaw flay
  flawed flayed
  flaws flays
for fey
force face 
  forced faced 
  forces faces 
  forcing facing 
ford fade 
  forded faded 
  fording fading 
  fords fades 
fork fake 
  forked faked 
  forking faking 
  forks fakes 
form fame 
  formed famed 
fort fate 
  forts fates 
four fey
  fours feys
fours phase
fraud frayed
fraught freight
Gaul Gael 
  Gauls Gaels 
gauze gays
gawp gape 
  gawped gaped 
  gawping gaping 
  gawps gapes 
ghat gait 
  ghats gaits 
gnaw nay
gnaw née
gnaw neigh
  gnawed neighed
  gnawing neighing
  gnaws neighs
gorge gage
  gorged gaged 
  gorges gages 
  gorging gaging 
gorge gauge
  gorged gauged 
  gorges gauges 
  gorging gauging 
hall hail 
  halls hails 	
hall hale  
haughty Haiti 
haul hail
  hauled hailed 
  hauling hailing 	 
  haulks hails
haul hale  
haw hay 
hawk hake 
haws haze
jaw J 
  jaws J's 
jawed jade 		
laud lade
  lauding lading   
  lauds lades
laud laid
law lay
lawn lain 
lawns lanes 
laws lays
lord lade
  lords lades
lord laid
Maud made
maul mail 
  mauled mailed 
  mauling mailing 
  mauls mails 
maw may 
maws Mays 
morn main 
  morns mains 
Morse mace
norm name 
  norms names 
orb Abe 
orgies ages 
outlaw outlay
  outlaws outlays
overwrought overate 
overwrought overrate 
pall pail
  palls pails
pall pale  
  palled paled 
  palling paling 
  palls pales 
Paul pail
Paul pale
pauper paper 
  paupers papers 
pause pays 
paw pay
  pawed paid 
  pawing paying
  paws pays
pawn pain 
  pawned pained 
  pawning paining 
  pawns pains 
porpoises papacies 
port pate 
raw ray 
roar ray
  roars rays
roared raid 
roars raise 
saw say
  sawing saying
sawn sane 
scald scaled
scorn skein
  scorns skeins
shawl shale 
shored shade 
slaw slay
sore say
spawn Spain 
spore spay
  spores spays 
sport spate 
  sports spates 
stalk stake 
  stalked staked 
  stalking staking 
  stalks stakes 
stall stale 
  stalled staled 
  stalling staling 
  stalls stales 
store stay
stored staid 
stores stays 
straw stray
  strawed strayed
  strawing straying
  straws strays
sward suede 
sward swayed
swore sway
sworn swain 
talk take 
  talking taking 
  talks takes 
talker taker 
  talkers takers 
tall tail 
taller tailor 
taunt taint 
  taunted tainted 
  taunting tainting 
  taunts taints 
thorn thane
  thorns thanes 
torpor taper 
  torpors tapers 
trawl trail 
  trawled trailed 
  trawling trailing 
  trawls trails 
trawler trailer 
  trawlers trailers 
walk wake 
  walked waked 
  walking waking 
  walks wakes 
wall wail 
  walled wailed 
  walling wailing 
  walls wails
walls Wales 
war way
  wars ways
war weigh
  wars weighs  
ward wade 
  warded waded 
  warding wading
  wards wades
ward weighed
warder wader 
  warders waders 
warn wane
  warned waned 
  warning waning 
  warns wanes
warn wain
  warns wains 
wart wait 
  warts waits 
water waiter 
  waters waiters 
wharf waif 
  wharfs waifs 
wharves waives 
wharves waves
yaw yea
  yaws yeas

John Higgins, Shaftesbury, November 2009