Vowels 2 and 12 (schwa), /ɪ/ versus /ə/     365 pairs     [yogiyoga.html]

These are both short vowels and both are common in unstressed positions. Indeed the schwa hardly ever carries stress. Confusions occur even among native speakers. Many of the pairs contrast the -es inflexion with agent plurals such as arches/archers. In some cases I am not sure if a distinction would be made consistently, as in affect/effect, palette/palate and precede/proceed, for instance.

Interesting pairs include:

ammeter amateur
bizarre bazaar
devises divisors
enemies enemas
führers furies
medleys meddlers
sallied salad
whiskeys whiskers

Since both sounds are frequent in the language as a whole, the mean density is low at 1.1%. The number of semantic contrasts is 316, giving a high loading of 87%.

accuses accusers 
adulteress adulterous
  adulteries adulterers 
adventuress adventurous
advertises advertisers 
advises advisers 
Ali Allah
ammeter amateur 
ammeters amateurs 
Annie anna
announces announcers 
arches archers 
army amah 
  armies amahs 
armouries armourers 
assesses assessors
atomizes atomizers 
avenges avengers 
badges badgers 
banted bantered
batted battered
belly Bella 
besieges besiegers 
betted bettered
bibliographies bibliographers 
biographies biographers 
bizarre bazaar 
blazes blazers 
bleaches bleachers 
boarded bordered
boozes boozers 
botches botchers 
boxes boxers 
bruises bruisers 
buggies buggers 
bulldozes bulldozers 
busted bustard 
butted buttered
buzzes buzzers 
cadges cadgers 
canny canna 
canted cantered
catches catchers 
challenges challengers 
charges chargers 
charted chartered
chases chasers 
chatted chattered
chokeys chokers 
cities sitters
cleanses cleansers 
clinches clinchers 
coffees coffers
collies cholers 
colonizes colonizers 
comfit comfort
comfits comforts
composes composers 
compresses compressors
condenses condensers 
confesses confessors
Consett concert
conveyances conveyancers 
cookies cookers 
coolies coolers 
copied coppered
copies coppers
counted countered
counties counters 
courses coursers
covet covert 
  covets coverts  
covey cover
  coveys covers 
crony krona
cross-benches cross-benchers 
cruises cruisers 
dances dancers 
deliveries deliverers 
Devizes divisors
dickeys dickers 
discomfit discomfort
discomfits discomforts
discoveries discoverers 
dispenses dispensers 
dodges dodgers 
dollies dollars 
dory Dora 
dosses dossers 
doted dotard 
douses dowsers
dredges dredgers 
dresses dressers 
edition addition 
  editions additions 
educe adduce 
  educed adduced 
  educes adduces 
  educing adducing 
eerie era
effect affect 
  effected affected 
  effecting affecting 
  effects affects 
elide allied 
elude allude 
  eluded alluded 
  eludes alludes 
  eluding alluding 
  elusive allusive 
emend amend 
  emended amended 
  emending amending 
  emends amends 
emission omission
  emissions omissions
emit omit
  emits omits
  emitted omitted
  emitting omitting
enemies enemas 
enemy enema 
enquiries enquirers 
enunciate annunciate 
  enunciated annunciated 
  enunciates annunciates 
  enunciating annunciating 
  enunciation annunciation 
  enunciations annunciations 
equalizes equalizers 
erase arrays 
erases erasers 
etches etchers 
exceed accede 
  exceeded acceded 
  exceeding acceding 
  exceeds accedes 
except accept 
  excepted accepted 
  excepting accepting 
  excepts accepts 
exchanges exchangers 
extinguishes extinguishers 
führers furies 
faces facers 
faulted faltered 
fences fencers 
fertilizes fertilizers 
fetid fettered
fishes fishers 
flatteries flatterers 
Florrie Flora 
forges forgers 
founded foundered
freezes freezers 
front-benches front-benchers 
führers furies 
gammy gamma 
gatecrashes gatecrashers 
Georgie Georgia 
greases greasers 
griffin griffon
  griffins griffons
grosses grocers 
gushes gushers 
gutted guttered
hankies hankers 
harpies harpers 
him h'm 
hoaxes hoaxers 
hooky hookah 
humid humoured
hymn h'm
  hymned h'mmed 
  hymning h'mming 
  hymns h'ms 
hyperbole hyperbola 
  hyperboles hyperbolas 
idolatress idolatrous
illusion allusion 
  illusions allusions 
imminence immanence 
  imminent immanent 
in 'un 
incises incisors
indexes indexers 
instillation installation 
  instillations installations 
Jeanie Gina 
Joanie Jonah
juries jurors
kepis capers 
kisses kissers 
lackeys lacquers
laddies ladders 
lances lancers 
launches launchers 
lazes lasers 
ledges ledgers 
lighted lightered
liquidizes liquidizers 
lodges lodgers 
loses losers 
lounges loungers 
lurches lurchers 
manages managers 
Marches marchers
mashes mashers 
matted mattered
mazes masers 
medleys meddlers 
mercies mercers 
merges mergers 
minces mincers 
miry Myra 
mixes mixers 
moated motored
moulded mouldered
movies movers 
mummies mummers 
murderess murderous
nattily Natalie 
offices officers 
oppresses oppressors
organizes organizers 
palette palate 
  palettes palates 
palmy Parma 
parky parka 
parleys parlours
parry para 
pasty pasta 
patted pattered
patties patters 
perishes perishers 
perjuries perjurers 
philosophies philosophers 
pidgin pigeon
  pidgins pigeons
pillages pillagers 
pitches pitchers 
plunges plungers 
poaches poachers 
police-offices police-officers 
polishes polishers 
poppies poppas 
poppy poppa 
poses posers 
possesses possessors 
potted pottered
potteries potterers 
potties potters 
preaches preachers 
precede proceed
  preceded proceeded
  precedes proceeds
  preceding proceeding
  precession procession
  precessions processions
prescribe proscribe
  prescribed proscribed
  prescribes proscribes
  prescribing proscribing
  prescription proscription
  prescriptions proscriptions
processes processors
produces producers 
professes professors
proposes proposers 
proprieties proprietors
publishes publishers 
purchases purchasers 
purges perjures 
purses pursers 
pushes pushers 
putted puttered
puttees putters
races racers 
rafted raftered
raises raisers 
ranches ranchers 
ranges rangers 
rashes rashers 
realties Realtors 
recces wreckers
refreshes refreshers 
reproduces reproducers 
researches researchers 
resinated resonated
revises revisers 
rises risers 
risky Risca 
rushy Russia 
sallied salad 
satin Saturn 
sauces saucers 
scavenges scavengers 
scented centred 
scorches scorchers 
scrounges scroungers 
searches searchers 
seduces seducers 
seizes Caesars 
silences silencers 
silly Scylla 
  sillies Scyllas 
sketches sketchers 
skirmishes skirmishers 
smashes smashers 
snatches snatchers 
Sophie sofa
sorceries sorcerers 
spatted spattered
splices splicers 
sponges spongers 
squeezes squeezers 
stabilizes stabilizers 
stages stagers 
starlit starlet 
steeplechases steeplechasers 
stretches stretchers 
successes successors
summit summat 
Sundays sunders
supervises supervisors
suppresses suppressors
surplice surplus
surplices surpluses
sympathizes sympathizers 
talkies talkers 
tatted tattered
teaches teachers 
teases teasers 
teeny Tina 
tellies tellers 
tended tendered
thatches thatchers 
threshes threshers 
timpani tympana
topis topers 
torches tortures
totted tottered
tourneys turners
traces tracers 
traduces traducers 
tranquilizes tranquillizers
transgresses transgressors
treasuries treasurers 
trenches trenchers 
trespasses trespassers 
twitted twittered
uses users 
verges vergers 
villages villagers 
vouches vouchers 
voyages voyagers 
wages wagers 
Wally wallah
washes washers 
watches watchers 
welshes welshers 
whiskeys whiskers 
withies withers 
womanizes womanizers 
yogi yoga 

John Higgins, Shaftesbury, January 2011