Consonants /z/ versus /j/, 11 pairs     [zapyap.html]

The /z/ sound is spelled with <z>. The /j/ sound is spelled with <y>, <ew> in ewe or <u> in use. The contrast can only occur initially.

This is a contrast between an alveolar sibilant fricative and a palatal semivowel, both voiced. It is not a problem.

The mean density value is very low at 0.1%. The list makes 6 semantic distinctions, a loading of 55%.

zap yap 
  zapped yapped 
  zapping yapping 
  zaps yaps 
zee ye 
Zen yen
zoo ewe
  zoos ewes 
zoo U 
  zoos U's 
zoos use

John Higgins, Shaftesbury, November 2010.