Consonants /s/ versus /j/, 66 pairs     [samyam.html]

The /s/ sound is spelled with <s> or <c>. The /j/ sound is spelled with <y>. Notice the variable pronunication of year leads to pairs with sear and sir.

This is a contrast between a voiceless sibilant fricative and a voiced palatal semivowel, and can only occur initially. It does not cause problems.

Interesting pairs include:

saucer sawyer
surly yearly

The mean density value is 1.7%. The list makes 44 semantic distinctions, a loading of 67%.

C ye
cell yell
  cells yells
sack yak
  sacks yaks
Sam yam
sank Yank 
sap yap
  sapped yapped
  sapping yapping
  saps yaps
sate Yate 
saucer sawyer
  saucers sawyers
saw yaw
  sawing yawing
  saws yaws
  sawed yawed
saw yore
saw your
  saws yours
sawn yawn
say yea
sea ye
sealed yield
sear year
  sear years
see ye
seer year
sell yell
  sells yells
  selling yelling
send yenned
sends yens
set yet
sir year
  sirs years
soak yoke
soaked yoked
soaking yoking
soaks yokes
soar yaw
  soared yawed
  soars yaws
soar yore
soar your
  soars yours
sob yob
sobs yobs
sore yaw
  sores yaws
sore yore
sore your
  sores yours  
sooth youth
soothes youths
sot yacht
  sots yachts
sou ewe
  sous ewes
sou U
  sous U's 
sou you
sung young
surly yearly
sword yawed

John Higgins, Shaftesbury, November 2010.