Consonants /m/ versus /j/, 60 pairs     [mornyawn.html]

The /m/ sound is spelled with <m> or <mm>. The /j/ sound is spelled with <y> and occurs in the letter name U.

This is a contrast between a bilabial nasal continuant and a palatal semivowel, both voiced. The contrast only occurs initially or medially. It is not a problem.

Interesting pairs include:

mellow yellow
mourning yawning

The mean density value is 0.7%. The lists make 35 semantic distinctions, a loading of 58%.

ma yah
ma'am yam
mac yak
  macs yaks
Manx Yanks
map yap
  mapped yapped
  mapping yapping
  maps yaps
mar yah
marred yard
marrow yarrow
  marrows yarrows
mate Yate 
Maud yawed
maul yawl
  mauls yawls
maw yaw
  maws yaws
maw yore
maw your  
Max yaks
May yea
  Mays yeas
me ye
mellow yellow
  mellows yellows
  mellowed yellowed
  mellowing yellowing
  mellower yellower
  mellowest yellowest
  mellowness yellowness
men yen
mere year
mess yes
  messes yeses
met yet
mob yob
  mobs yobs
modal yodel
  modals yodels
moke yoke
  mokes yokes
monger younger
moo U 
  moos U's 
moo you
moose use
  mooses uses
more yaw
more yore
more your
morn yawn
  morning yawning
  morns yawns
mourn yawn
  morned yawned
  mourning yawning
  mourns yawns
myrrh year

John Higgins, Shaftesbury, December 2010
updated Chiang Mai, 2024