Consonants /t/ versus /g/, 396 pairs     [tapgap.html]

The spelling of /t/ is usually <t> or <tt>, but we also often see <ght>, <th> in Thai. The /g/ sound is usually <g>, <gg>, <gu> before <i> or <gue>. The two different pronunciations of tilde make pairs with guild and guilder. I have included plural pairs sich as bats/bags, even though they are not strictly minimal, on the grounds discussed under "Problems" in the main article.

The contrast is between two plosives, one voiceless and one voiced and well separated in the mouth. It is not a problem for learners.

Pairs involving taboo words are butter/bugger, knitter/nigger, shat/shag and turd/ gird.

Interesting pairs include:

beetle beagle
fitter figure
irritate irrigate
meter meagre
tarnish garnish
tighter tiger
traffic graphic
travel gravel
tunnel gunwale

The mean density value is 2.2%. The list makes 197 semantic distinctions, a loading of 49%.

ate egg
bat bag 
  batting bagging 
  bats bags
batty baggy 
beetle beagle 
  beetles beagles 
beetling beagling 
Bert berg 
bet beg 
  bets begs
  betting begging 
better beggar 
  bettered beggared 
  bettering beggaring 
  betters beggars 
bit big 
bitter bigger 
booty boogie 
bottle boggle 
  bottled boggled 
  bottles boggles 
  bottling boggling 
brat brag 
  brats brags
Brit brig 
but bug 
butt bug
  butting bugging 
  butts bugs
butter bugger 
  buttered buggered 
  buttering buggering 
  butters buggers 
buttery buggery 
clot clog 
  clots clogs
  clotting clogging 
cot cog 	   
  cots cogs
dot dog 
  dots dogs
  dotting dogging 
dotted dogged 
dotty doggie 
drat drag 
  drats drags
  dratting dragging 
eater eager 
entreat intrigue 
  entreat intrigues
  entreating intriguing 
fat fag 
  fats fags
  fatting fagging 
fit fig 
  fits figs
fitment figment 
  fitments figments 
fitter figure 
  fitters figures 
flat flag 	  
  flats flags
GATT gag 
grot grog 
grotty groggy 
  grottier groggier 
  grottiest groggiest 
hat hag 
  hats hags
hot hog 
  hots hogs
  hotting hogging 
hut hug 
  huts hugs
irritate irrigate 
  irritated irrigated 
  irritates irrigates 
  irritating irrigating 
  irritation irrigation 
jitter jigger
  jitters jiggers 
jot jog 
  jots jogs
  jotting jogging 
jotter jogger 
  jotters joggers 
jut jug 
  juts jugs
  jutting jugging  
knitter nigger  
  knitters niggers 
lat lag 
let leg 
  lets legs
  letting legging 
  lettings leggings 
lied league 
lot log 
  lots logs
mat mag
  mats mags
matt mag
met Meg 
meter meagre 
mutt mug 
  mutts mugs
mutter mugger 
  mutters muggers 
Nat nag 
natter nagger 
  natters naggers 
pet peg 
  pets pegs
  petting pegging 
petty Peggy 
phut fug 
pit pig 
  pits pigs
  pitting pigging 
pity piggy 
  pities piggies 
plate plague 
  plates plagues
  plating plaguing 
putt pug 
  putts pugs
rat rag 
  rats rags
  ratted ragged 
  ratting ragging 
retain regain 
  retained regained 
  retaining regaining 
  retains regains 
retard regard 
  retarded regarded 
  retarding regarding 
  retards regards 
Rita Riga 
rotary roguery 
  rotaries rogueries 
rotation rogation 
  rotations rogations 
rote rogue 
rut rug 
  ruts rugs
  rutted rugged 
sat sag 
shat shag 
sitar cigar 
  sitars cigars 
slat slag 
  slats slags
slot slog 
  slots slogs
  slotting slogging 
slut slug 
  sluts slugs
sluttish sluggish 
smut smug 
snot snog 
sprit sprig 
  sprit sprigs
T ghee 
tab gab 
table gable 
  tabled gabled 
  tables gables 
tag gag 
  tagged gagged 
  tagging gagging 
  tags gags 
tail Gael 
  tails Gaels 
tail gale 
  tails gales 
tale Gael 
  tales Gaels 
tale gale 
  tales gales 
talent gallant 
talk gawk 
  talks gawks 
talkie Gorky 
tall Gaul 
tall gall
tally galley 
  tallies galleys 
talon gallon 
  talons gallons 
tame game
  tames games 
  tamed gamed 
  taming gaming 
tamely gamely 
tammy gammy 
tamp gamp 
  tamps gamps 
tangling gangling 
tang gang
  tangs gangs 
tap gap 
  taps gaps 
tape gape 
  taped gaped 
  tapes gapes 
  taping gaping 
tarnish garnish 
  tarnished garnished 
  tarnishes garnishes 
  tarnishing garnishing 
tarred guard 
tarry Gary 
tarry gharry
  tarries gharries 
tartar garter 
  tartars garters 
tat gat
  tats gats
tat tag 
  tats tags
  tatting tagging 
tattle gaggle 
  tattles gaggles 
taught ghat 
taunt gaunt 
tawse gauze 
tea ghee
tear gear 
  tears gears 
teaser geezer 
  teasers geezers 
tee ghee
tent Ghent 
Tess guess
test guessed 
test guest
  tests guests 
Thai guy 
  Thais guys 
Thame game
tide guide 
  tided guided 
  tides guides 
  tiding guiding 
tide guyed  
tie guy
  ties guys
  tied guyed
  tying guying 
tied guide  
tiger Geiger 
  tigers Geigers 
tighter tiger 
tilde gild 
  tildes gilds 
tilde guilder
  tildes gilders 
tile guile 
till gill
  tills gills 
tilled gild
tilled guild
tilt gilt 	   
tilt guilt
  tilts guilts
to goo 
toad goad 
  toads goads 
toadied goaded 
toast ghost 
  toasted ghosted 
  toasting ghosting 
  toasts ghosts 
toe go 
  toeing going 
  toes goes 
toggle goggle 
  toggles goggles 
told gold 
toll goal 
  tolls goals 
tolled gold  
ton gun 
  tons guns
  tonning gunning 
tong gong
  tongs gongs 
too goo
tool ghoul
  tools ghouls 
tor gore 
  tors gores
tore gore
Tory gory 
tosh gosh 
tot tog 
  tots togs
  totting togging 
tote goat 
  totes goats 
toured gourd 
tout gout 
tow go 
  towing going 
  tows goes 
town gown 
  towns gowns 
trace grace 
  traced graced 
  traces graces 
  tracing gracing 
trade grade 
  traded graded 
  trades grades 
  trading grading 
traffic graphic 
  traffics graphics 
trail grail 
  trails grails 
train grain 
  trained grained 
  trains grains 
  training graining
traipse grapes 
trait grate 
  traits grates 
traitor grater 
  traitors graters 
traitor greater  
tram gram 
  trams grams
travel gravel 
  traveled gravelled 
  travelling gravelling 
  travels gravels 
tray gray 
  trays grays 
trill grill 
  trilled grilled 
  trilling grilling 
  trills grilles 
trim grim 
  trimly grimly 
  trimmer grimmer 
  trimmest grimmest 
trip grip
  tripped gripped 
  tripping gripping 
  trips grips 
troop group 
  trooped grouped 
  trooping grouping 
  troops groups 
troupe group 
  troupes groups 
trope grope 
  tropes gropes 
trot grot 
  trots grots 
troth growth 
trove grove 
  troves groves 
trudge grudge 
  trudged grudged 
  trudges grudges 
  trudging grudging 
true grew 
tryst grist 
tummy gummy 
tun gun
  tuns guns
tunnel gunwale 
  tunnels gunwales 
tunny gunny 
turd gird 
  turds girds 
tut tug 
  tutted gutted 
  tutting tugging 
  tuts tugs
twit twig 
  twitting twigging 
  twits twigs
two goo
veto Vigo 
vote vogue 
  votes vogues
Whit Whig 
whittle wiggle
  whittled wiggled 
  whittles wiggles
  whittling wiggling
writ rig 
  writs rigs

John Higgins, Shaftesbury, January 2010.