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what is minimal pairs

asked 2015-03-30 23:22:17 -0500

gabrielle gravatar image

Is this group of words concider to be a minimal pairs Man /pan ..yes Tacks /tax yes Flat /flap Mail/male Place /face

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answered 2015-03-31 00:09:57 -0500

CBauserman gravatar image

Minimal pairs are two words that differ in a single phonological element and have distinct meanings. Tacks/tax and mail/male are pronounced the same, despite having distinct meaning.
Thus the tacks/tax and mail/male examples would actually be considered homophones, not minimal pairs, I think.

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answered 2015-03-31 22:23:21 -0500

usagi5886 gravatar image

To add to CBauserman's answer:

You would need to make two changes, not one, to change place into face, so they aren't a minimal pair.

Thus, of the ones you listed, only man - pan and flat - flap are minimal pairs.

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Asked: 2015-03-30 23:22:17 -0500

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Last updated: Mar 31 '15