The /v/ sound is spelled with <v> and the /h/ sound is spelled <sh> throughout. The contrast can only occur initially or medially after an unstressed prefix.
The contrast is between a voiced labio-dental fricative and a voiceless glottal fricative. It is not a problem for learners.
Interesting pairs include:
The mean density value is 1.5%. The list makes 39 semantic distinctions, a loading of 55%.
reversal rehearsal reversals rehearsals reverse rehearse reversed rehearsed reverses rehearses reversing rehearsing V he vac hack vacs hacks vale hail vales hails vale hale valley Halle vandal handle vandals handles vary hairy vat hat vats hats vault halt vaulted halted vaulting halting vaults halts vaulter halter vaulters halters vaunt haunt vaunted haunted vaunting haunting vaunts haunts vector hector vectors hectors veer hear veering hearing veers hears veil hail veils hails veiled hailed veiling Hayling veil hale verb herb verbs herbs verbal herbal veritable heritable verse hearse verses hearses vex hecks Vic hick vie hi vie hie vies hies vied hied vying hieing vie high vied hide view hew viewed hewed viewing hewing views hews viewer hewer viewers hewers view Hugh Viking hiking vim him vinous highness viz his voiced hoist vole hole voles holes volley holly voodoo hoodoo vow how vows house vox hocks water-vole water-hole water-voles water-holes
Credit: John Higgins