Consonants // versus /m/, 75 pairs     [thenmen.html]

The // sound is spelled with <th>. The /m/ sound is spelled with <m>, <mm> or <lm>. Sometimes a final /Ɵ/ is voiced when made plural, which is why there are no matching singular forms for the pairs oaths/ohms and paths/palms. Notice how the homograph mow makes pairs with though and thou.

This is a contrast between a dental fricative and a bilabial nasal continuant, both voiced. It is not a problem.

Interesting pairs include:

farthing farming
northerly normally
southern summon

The mean density value is 1%. The list makes 47 semantic distinctions, a loading of 63%.

 	
booth boom 
  booths booms 
bother bomber 
  bothers bombers 
breathe bream 
dither dimmer 
  dithers dimmers
farthing farming 
father farmer
  fathers farmers 
further firmer 
  furthest firmest 
gather gamma
  gathers gammas 
lathe lame 
  lathes lames 
lather lama
  lathers lamas 
lithe lime 
loathe loam 
mother mummer
  mothers mummers
northerly normally 
northern Norman 
oaths ohms
paths palms 
seethe seam 
  seethed seamed 
  seethes seams 
  seething seaming 
slither slimmer 
  slithers slimmers
southern summon
teethe team 
  teethed teamed 
  teethes teams 
  teething teaming 
teethe teem 
  teethed teemed 
  teethes teems 
  teething teeming 
than man 
that Matt 
that mat
thee me 
their mare 
  theirs mares 
their mayor 
  theirs mayors 
then men 
there mare
there mayor
they may 
thine mine 
this Miss 
though Mo 
though mow
those mows 
thou mow 
thus muss 
thy my 
  thyself myself 
tithe thyme 
tithe time
  tithes times 
with whim 
worthy wormy 
  worthier wormier 
  worthiest wormiest 
Worthing worming
writhe rhyme 
  writhed rhymed 
  writhes rhymes 
  writhing rhyming 
writhe rime  

John Higgins, Shaftesbury, November 2010.