Vowels 7 and 14, /ɔ/ versus /aɪ/    272 pairs      [hawkhike.html]

The /ɔ/ vowel is usually spelled <or>, <our>, and <oar>, but we also see <al> in talk, <au> in gauze, <aw> in awe and <ar> after <w> in war and water. The /aɪ/ diphthong is usually spelled <iCe>, <ei> or <igh> but we also see <y> in shy, <ey> in eye, <ai> in aisle, and the letter names I and Y.

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

Interesting pairs include:

disport despite
divorce device
maunder minder
naughty nightie
seesawed seaside
slaughter slighter

The density figure is 5.88%. The set makes 164 semantic contrasts giving a loading of 60.3%.

aboard abide 
all aisle
all isle
all I'll 
applaud applied
applause applies
autumn item
  autumns items
awe I 
  awed I'd 
  awes I's 
awe eye
  awes eyes
  awed eyed  
  awing eyeing
awl aisle
  awls aisles 
awl isle
  awls isles  
awl I'll  
backsword backside 
  backswords backsides 
balk bike
  balked biked
  balking biking
  balks bikes
ball bile
bauble Bible 
  baubles Bibles 
bawd bide
  bawds bides
board bide
  boards bides
  boarding biding
  boarded bided 
boar by
boar buy
  boars buys
boar bye
  boars byes
bore by
bore buy
  bores buys
bore bye
  bores byes
bought bight 
bought bite
bourn bine
brawn brine
brawny briny
  brawnier brinier
  brawniest briniest
broad bride 
  broads brides 
brought bright 
Broughton Brighton 
caught kite
chawed chide
corn kine
corned kind
court kite
  courts kites
crore cry
  crores cries 
daw Di 
daw die
  daws dies
daw dye
  daws dyes
dawn dine
  dawned dined
  dawning dining
  dawns dines
disport despite 
divorce device 
  divorces devices 
Dorking diking
draw dry
  draws dries
  drawing drying
drawers dries
fall file
  falling filing
  falls files
faugh fie
faun fine
  fauns fines
fawn fine
  fawned find
  fawning fining
  fawns fines
flaw fly
  flaws flies
fort fight 
  forts fights 
fought fight
fraud fried
fraught fright
gaud guide
Gaul guile
gauze guys
gnaw nigh
haw hi	  
haw hie
  hawing hieing
  haws hies
haw high
hawed hide
hawk hike
  hawked hiked
  hawking hiking
  hawks hikes
hawker hiker
  hawkers hikers
hoard hide
  hoards hides
  hoarding hiding 
  hoardings hidings 
horde hide
  hordes hides
Horley highly
horned hind 
Houghton heighten
implore imply
  implored implied 
  implores implies 
laud lied
law lie
  laws lies
lawn line
  lawns lines
lord lied
maul mile
  mauls miles 
mauled mild
maunder minder
  maunders minders
maw my
morn mine 
  morns mines 
mourn mine
  mourns mines
morning mining 
mourning mining
Morse mice
mortar mitre 
  mortars mitres 
mourned mind 
mourner miner 
  mourners miners 
naught knight 
  naughts knights 
naughty nightie
nor nigh
Nora naira
Norse nice
orate irate 
outfought outfight 
outlawing outlying
overawed override
pall pile
  palled piled
  palling piling
  palls piles
Paul pile
pauper piper
  paupers pipers
pause pies
paw pi
paw pie
  paws pies
  pawed pied
pawn pine
  pawned pined
  pawning pining
  pawns pines
pork pike 
quart quite
raw rye
roared Ryde 
  roars rise 
Sauchie psyche
score sky
  scored skied
  scores skies
seesawed seaside 
shore shy
  shored shied 
  shores shies 
shorn shine 
slaughter slighter
slaw sly
small smile
  smalls smiles
snored snide 
soar sigh
  soared sighed
  soars sighs 
soared side 
soreness sinus 
spawn spine
  spawns spines
spore spy
  spores spies 
sport spite 
  sported spited 
  sporting spiting 
  sports spites 
stall stile
  stalls stiles
stall style
  stalled styled
  stalling styling
  stalls styles
store sty
  stores sties
store stye
  stores styes 
stormy stymie
strawed stride
sword side
  swords sides 
sword sighed
swordsman sidesman 
sworn swine 
talk tike
  talks tikes
tall tile
taut tight
  tauter tighter
  tautest tightest
  tautly tightly
  tautness tightness
taught tight
tawse Thais 
thaw thigh
  thaws thighs
torn Tyne 
tor tie
  tors ties 
tort tight 
wall while
  walled whiled
  walling whiling
  walls whiles
waltzed whilst
war Y
  wars Y's 
ward wide
warden widen
  wardens widens
warder wider
Warley wily
warn whine
  warned whined
  warning whining
  warns whines
warn wine
warp wipe
warped wiped
warping wiping
warps wipes
wart white
  warts whites
water whiter
wharf wife
  wharves wives
worn whine
worn wine
wrought right
wrought rite
wrought write

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