The /ʌ/ vowel is spelled with <u>, and <o> in love and none. The /aɪ/ vowel is spelled <iCe>, <y> or <ie>, and is found in the letter name I. Notice the homograph live.
This is a contrast between a short vowel and a diphthong with a similar starting position. It does not seem to be a problem for many learners.
Interesting pairs include:
The density figure is 2.6%. The set makes 99 semantic contrasts giving a loading of 55%.
blunder blinder blunders blinders bubble bible bubbles bibles buck bike bucked biked bucking biking bucks bikes bud bide budded bided budding biding buds bides bun bine burrowed byroad but bight buts bights but bite butting biting buts bites butt bight butts bights button bitten button bittern buttons bitterns buzz buys buzz byes chum chime chummed chimed chumming chiming chums chimes crumb crime crumbs crimes cut kite cuts kites does dies does dyes done dine dost diced dove dive doves dives duck dike ducked diked ducking diking ducks dikes dud died dumb dime dun dine dunned dined dunning dining duns dines fun fine fund find funding finding funds finds funnel final funnels finals gull guile gulls guiles hut height love live loves lives lovely lively lovelier livelier loveliest liveliest loveliness liveliness luck like luff life lull lisle lumme limey luxe likes muck mike mucks mikes muckle Michael mull mile mulls miles mullah miler mullahs milers mulled mild mum mime mums mimes mutt might mutter mitre mutters mitres none nine nun nine nuns nines nut knight nuts knights nut night nuts nights nutty nightie one whine ones whines one wine ones wines other either phut fight puck pike pucks pikes pukka pica pun pine punned pined punning pining puns pines punt pint punts pints pup pipe pups pipes refund refined rough rife ruck Reich rucks Reichs rudder rider rudders riders ruffle rifle ruffling rifling ruffles rifles rum rhyme run Rhine runnel rhinal rut right ruts rights rutted righted rutting righting rut rite ruts rites rut write ruts writes rutting writing scrub scribe scrubs scribes scud skied shun shine shunning shining shuns shines slum slime slummy slimy slummier slimier slummiest slimiest slut sleight sluts sleights smut smite smuts smites smutting smiting son sign sons signs son sine spud spied spun spine struck strike suckle cycle suckled cycled suckles cycles suckling cycling suds sides suffer cipher suffered ciphered suffering ciphering suffers ciphers summon Simon sun sign suns signs sunning signing sunned signed sun sine ton Tyne trouble tribal truss trice trussed triced trusses trices trussing tricing tuck tike tucks tikes tunny tiny tup type tups types tut tight us I's won whine won wine
John Higgins, Shaftesbury, December 2009