Consonants /j/ versus /w/, 65 pairs     [yokewoke.html]

The /j/ sound is spelled with <y>, <ew> in ewe and is heard in the letter name U. The /w/ sound is spelled with <w> or <wh>.

This is a contrast between two semivowels, both voiced but well separated in the mouth the mouth. It only ocurs initially. In spite of the similarity, it is not a problem.

One taboo word pair is yank/wank.

The mean density value is 1.6%. The lists make 37 semantic distinctions, a loading of 57%.

ewe woo
  ewes woos
ewer wooer
  ewers wooers
U woo
  U's woos
yacht watt 
  yachts watts 
yacht what
yak whack 
  yaks whacks
yaks wax 
yank wank
  yanked wanked 
  yanking wanking 
  yanks wanks
Yate wait
yaw war
  yaws wars 
  yawed warred 
yaw wore  
yawed ward 
yawl wall 
  yawls walls 
yawn warn 
  yawned warned 
  yawning warning 
  yawns warns 
ye we 
yea way 
  yeas ways
yea weigh  
  yeas weighs
year were 
year whirr
  years whirrs 
yearling whirling 
yell well 
  yelling welling 
  yells wells 
  yelled welled
yelled weld 
yelp whelp 
  yelped whelped 
  yelping whelping 
  yelps whelps 
yen wen 
  yens wens 
yenned wend 
yet wet 
yield wield
  yielded wielded 
  yielding wielding 
  yields wealds 
yippee whippy 
yoke woke 
yon wan 
yonder wander 
yore war   
yore wore
York walk
you woo
your war
  yours wars  
your wore  

John Higgins, Shaftesbury, December 2010.