The /ć/ vowel is spelled <a> followed by two consonants or by one consonant in a monosyllable. The normal spelling of the /ɔ/ vowel is <or> but there is also <au> as in auction, <aw> in awe, <al> in all, <oar> in hoary, <our> in mourn and <ough> in nought.
This contrast is between a short and a long vowel and they are well separated in the mouth, so they are not a problem for any known group of learners.
The only taboo word pair is shat/short.
Interesting pairs include:
The mean density is 2.6%. The pairs make 113 semantic contrasts, giving a loading of 56%.
acne Orkney action auction actions auctions ad awed adder order adders orders agonize organize agonized organized agonizes organizes agonizing organizing Al all aręte orate arętes orates as awes at aught atom autumn atoms autumns ax auks babble bauble babbles baubles back balk backed balked backing balking backs balks bad bawd bad board ban Bourne bat bought brad broad brads broads bran brawn brat brought cabby Corby cad cawed cad chord cads chords cad cord cads cords cam corm cams corms can corn canned corned canning corning cans corns canna corner cannas corners canny corny cannier cornier canniest corniest cap Corp caps corpse Carol choral cat caught cat court cats courts cattier courtier Chad chawed Chas chaws chattel chortle chattels chortles clad Claud dab daub dabbed daubed dabbing daubing dabs daubs dally Dawley Dan Dawn facet faucet facets faucets fact forked fad ford fads fords family formally fan fawn fanned fawned fanning fawning fans fauns fan faun fans fauns fat fort fats forts fatty forty flattest flautist gad gaud gads gauds gap gawp gaps gawps Gary gory GATT ghat gal Gaul gals Gauls gnat nought gnats nughts hack hawk hacked hawked hacking hawking hacks hawks had hawed had horde Hal hall Halle Horley ham haulm harry hoary harrier hoarier has haws jazz jaws lad laud lads lauds lad lord lads lords mad Maud Maddy Maudie Mafia morphia mag morgue mags morgues mammon Mormon man morn mans morns manning morning man mourn manned mourned manning mourning manful mournful manfully mournfully manner mourner manners mourners mass morse matter mortar mattered mortared mattering mortaring matters mortars Nat naught natty naughty nattier naughtier nattiest naughtiest nattily naughtily pack pork packer porker packers porkers pad pawed pal Paul pal pall palled palled palling palling pals palls pan pawn panned pawned panning pawning pans pawns pan porn passion portion passions portions pat port pats ports patted ported patting porting patch porch patches porches patter porter patters porters rat wrought sad sawed sally sorely Sassari sorcery scan scorn scanned scorned scanning scorning scans scorns shad shored shall shawl shat short shatter shorter span spawn spanned spawned spanning spawning spans spawns spat sport spats sports spatted sported spatting sporting stack stalk stacked stalked stacking stalking stacks stalks swam swarm tack talk tacked talked tacking talking tacks talks tacky talkie tarry Tory tarries Tories tat taught tatter tauter wax walks whack walk whacked walked whacker walker whackers walkers whacking walking whacks walks yak YorkGeographical: Outside English-speaking countries, most visitors are from Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, Lithuania, Spain, Vietnam, Yemen, Norway, Thialand and United Arab Emirates. Average 12 visitors per month.
John Higgins, Shaftesbury, January 2011