Is there a word that refers to a group of five words where the only difference in spelling is the vowel? And that all five vowels (in different words) are in the group?

Slang/jargon would probably not be included.


pat pet pit pot put

  • 2
    I don't know whether such a word exists. But minimal pairs is the term for two words that differ in only one phonological element, such as put/pet, sit/sat, etc: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minimal_pair. So you could coin the term minimal quintuplets. – Shoe Jan 31 '19 at 11:59
  • I like this as well, as it can identify partial matches (i.e. minimal quadruples and the elusive minimal sextuplet.) – Zenzizenzizenzic Feb 1 '19 at 12:33

I would call this group a 'vowel alternation series' by analogy with the 'gradation series' (ablaut).

As the sources of the particular pronunciation are different, we can't use the terms 'ablaut, umlaut, assimilation' here.

Alternation would be quite appropriate:

: the occurrence of different allomorphs or allophones (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/alternation).

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