The spelling of /p/ is always either <p> or <pp>. The /l/ sound is spelled <ll> or <l>. There is one minimal pair which contrasts /p/ with a syllabic /l/: wisp/whistle. Another doubtful case is soapy/solely, since in careful speech the /l/ is likely to be held and perceived as two /l/ sounds. Where the contrast is final, inflected forms have been included although they appear not to be strictly minimal. (See "Problems" on the main page.)
The contrast is between a voiceless plosive and a voiced lateral continuant, well apart in the mouth. It causes no problems.
Interesting pairs include:
The mean density value is 3.4%. The list makes 357 semantic distinctions, a loading of 52%.
ape ail aped ailed aping ailing apes ails ape ale apes ales aptitude altitude aptitudes altitudes armpit armlet armpits armlets cape kale carp Carl chip chill chipping chilling chips chills chipped chilled chirp churl chirps churls coop cool cooped cooled cooping cooling coops cools cooper cooler coopers coolers cop col cope coal coped coaled copes coals coping coaling cope kohl coped colt copper choler coppers cholers copper collar coppered collared coppering collaring coppers collars copy collie copies collies Corp call Corp caul creep creel creeps creels cup cull cupped culled cupping culling cups culls Cupar cooler cuppa colour cuppas colours cupped cult deep deal deeps deals deeper dealer dep dell dip dill dips dills dope dole doped doled dopes doles doping doling doped dolt drip drill dripped drilled dripping drilling drips drills droop drool drooped drooled drooping drooling droops drools drupe drool dumpy dumbly gap gal gaps gals gape Gael gapes Gaels gape gale gapes gales gawp gall gawped galled gawping galling gawps galls gawp Gaul grape grail grapes grails grip grill gripped grilled gripping grilling grips grills grip grille grips grilles gyp gill gypped jilt hap Hal happy Halle heap he'll heap heal heaped healed heaping healing heaps heals heap heel heaped heeled heaping heeling heaps heels hep hell hip hill hips hills hippie hilly hoop who'll hope hole hoped holed hoping holing hopes holes hope whole hopper holler hoppers hollers jape gaol keep keel keeping keeling keeps keels kept Celt kip kill kipping killing kipped kilt kipper killer kippers killers kopje collie kopjes collies lipped lilt loop poop loops poops lop loll lops lolls lopping lolling mop moll mops molls mope mole mopes moles moped moult nape nail napes nails neap kneel neaps kneels neap Neil nip nil nope knoll opine align opined aligned opines aligns opining aligning overpay overlay overpaid overlaid overpaying overlaying overpays overlays P lea P's leas P lee P's lees P Leigh pa la pace lace paced laced paces laces pacing lacing pack lack packed lacked packing lacking packs lacks packer lacquer packers lacquers packs lax pact lacked pad lad pads lads Paddy laddie Paddies laddies paean Leon pah la paid lade pain lain pain lane pains lanes pair lair pairs lairs paired laird pal lap palmer lama palmers lamas palmer llama palmers llamas Pam lam Pam lamb pane lain pane lane panes lanes panga languor panned land pap pal paper paler papist palest par la parch larch parches larches pare lair pares lairs pared laird park lakh parks lakhs park lark parked larked parking larking parks larks Parma lama Parma llama parr la parry Larry party lathi parties lathis passed last past last pasts lasts paste laced Pat lat patch latch patched latched patches latches patching latching pate late patent latent path lath paths laths patter latter paunch launch paunches launches pause laws pave lave paved laved paves laves paving laving paw law paws laws paw lor paw lore pawed laud pawed lord pawn lawn pawns lawns pawn lorn pax lacks pax lax pay lay paid laid paying laying pays lays pay ley pays leys payee lei payees leis payer layer payers layers pays laze pea lea peas leas pea lee peas lees pea Leigh peace lease peach leach peached leached peaches leaches peaching leaching peach leech peaches leeches peak leak peaked leaked peaking leaking peaks leaks peak leek peaks leeks peaky leaky peakier leakier peakiest leakiest pear lair pears lairs pease leas pease lees peat lied pee lea pees leas pee lee pees lees pee Leigh peed lead peek leak peeked leaked peeking leaking peeks leaks peek leek peeks leeks peep peal peeped pealed peeping pealing peeps peals peeper peeler peepers peelers peer leer peered leered peering leering peers leers peeve leave peeves leaves peeving leaving peg leg pegging legging pegs legs Peggy leggy peke leak pekes leaks peke leek pekes leeks Peking leaking pen Len pending lending penned lend penny Lenny pens lens peon Leon pepped pelt pepper leper peppers lepers peppered leopard perch lurch perched lurched perches lurches perching lurching perk lurk perked lurked perking lurking perks lurks pest lest pester Leicester pet let pets lets pets let's petting letting Pete lied peter litre peters litres pi lie pis lies pi lye pis lyes pick lick picked licked picking licking picks licks picker liquor pickers liquors pie lie pied lied pies lies pie lye pies lyes piece lease pieced leased pieces leases piecing leasing pieced least pier leer piers leers pike like pikes likes pillion Lilian pimp limp pimped limped pimping limping pimps limps pimply limply pin Lynn pinch lynch pinched lynched pinches lynches pinching lynching pine line pined lined pines lines pining lining ping ling pings lings pink link pinked linked pinking linking pinks links pinks lynx pip pill pips pills pipe pile piped piled piping piling pipes piles pique leak piqued leaked piques leaks piquing leaking pique leek piques leeks pissed list pit lit PO Leo pock lock pocked locked pocks locks pocket locket pockets lockets podgier loggia poll loll polls lolls poly lolly polys lollies pone loan pones loans pone lone pooh lieu pooh loo Poona lunar poop loop poops loops poor lure pop lop popped lopped popping lopping pops lops pop poll pops polls Pope lope Popes lopes Pope pole Popes poles popish Polish poppy poly poppies polys pore law pores laws pore lor pore lore pored laud pored lord porn lawn porn lorn pose lows posses losses pot lot pots lots potion lotion potions lotions pottery lottery potteries lotteries pour law pours laws pour lor pour lore poured laud poured lord pout lout pouts louts powder louder power lour powered loured powering louring powers lours pox locks puck luck pucks luxe puff luff puffed luffed puffing luffing puffs luffs pug lug pugs lugs pump lump pumped lumped pumping lumping pumps lumps punch lunch punched lunched punches lunches punching lunching pups pulse Pyle lisle pyre liar pyres liars pyre lyre pyres lyres Pyrrhic lyric pyx licks quip quill quipped quilt rape rail raped railed rapes rails raping railing rapid rallied reap reel reaped reeled reaping reeling reaps reels reap real repay relay repaid relayed repaying relaying repays relays repent relent repented relented repenting relenting repents relents rip rill rips rills rip Rhyl ripe rile rope roll roped rolled ropes rolls roping rolling rope role sapient salient sapience salience sappy sally scoop school scooped schooled scooping schooling scoops schools scupper sculler scuppers scullers seep seal seeped sealed seeping sealing seeps seals seeping ceiling sepia Celia shape shale sheep she'll shipping shilling sip sill sips sills sipped silt skip skill soap Seoul soap sole soaped soled soaping soling soaps soles soap soul soaps souls soapy solely sop Sol sopped SALT spade sleighed Spain slain spake slake spam slam spat slat spats slats spatted slatted spate slate spates slates spay slay spaying slaying spays slays spay sleigh spayed sleighed spaying sleighing spays sleighs speak sleek speaking sleeking speaks sleeks speaker sleeker sped sled spender slender spice slice spiced sliced spices slices spicing slicing spick slick spied slide spire slyer spit slit spitting slitting spits slits spite sleight spites sleights spite slight spited slighted spiting slighting spites sleights Spode slowed spore slaw spot slot spots slots spotted slotted spotting slotting spouse sloughs spunk slunk spur slur spurred slurred spurring slurring spurs slurs spy sly steep steal steeping stealing steeps steals steep steel steeped steeled steeping steeling steeps steels stoop stool stoup stool syrup Cyril tape tail taped tailed taping tailing tapes tails tape tale tapes tales taper tailor tapered tailored tapering tailoring tapers tailors tapir tailor tapirs tailors tip till tipped tilled tipping tilling tips tills tipped tilt tope toll toping tolling torpor taller trip trill tripped trilled tripping trilling trips trills trope troll tropes trolls twerp twirl twerps twirls type tile typed tiled typing tiling types tiles underpay underlay vapid valid vapidity validity vapidly validly viper viler warp wall warped walled warping walling warps walls warps waltz weep weal weeps weals weep we'll weep wheel weeping wheeling weeps wheels wept welt whip will whipped willed whipping willing whips wills whipped wilt whippy Willie whoop who'll whoopee woolly whoopees woolies whopper wallah whoppers wallahs wipe while wiped whiled wiping whiling wipes whiles wipe wile wipes wiles wisp whistle
John Higgins, Shaftesbury, January 2010.