The spelling of /b/ is <b> or <bb>. The /ʧ/ sound is <ch> initially and <ch> <tch> in other positions except in those words like nature and stature where /tj/ has assimilated to /ʧ/ where it is <tu>. Notice how the homograph bows makes pairs with chows and chose.
The contrast is between a voiced plosive and a voiceless affricate, well separated in the mouth. It is not a problem for any learners.
Interesting pairs include:
One pair of doubtful status is stabber/stature, in which, even allowing for the assimilation of /tj/ to /ʧ/, the secondary stress on the second syllable of stature gives it a different rhythm. Would a good poet rhyme stature with thatcher, one could ask.
The mean density value is 3.5%. The list makes 118 semantic distinctions, a loading of 52%.
Abe H arbour archer arbours archers B's cheese baa'd chard baa'd charred baas chars bad chad bade chad balk chalk balked chalked balking chalking balks chalks balm charm balms charms bane chain bar char barred chard barred charred barring charring bars chars bard chard bard charred bards chards bare chair bared chaired bares chairs baring chairing barge charge barged charged barges charges barging charging barley Charlie barm charm barring charring Bart chart barter charter bartered chartered bartering chartering barters charters base chase based chased bases chases basing chasing based chaste baser chaser basin chasten basins chastens bass chase basses chases baste chased baste chaste bat chat bats chats batted chatted batting chatting batter chatter batters chatters battered chattered battering chattering battle chattel battles chattels batty chatty baulk chalk baulked chalked baulking chalking baulks chalks bawd chawed beadle Cheadle beak cheek beaks cheeks bear chair bearing chairing bears chairs beard cheered beat cheat beating cheating beats cheats beater cheetah beaters cheetahs beaux chose beck check becks checks beck cheque becks cheques beck Czech becks Czechs beef chief beefs chiefs beep cheap beep cheep beeps cheeps beer cheer beers cheers beery cheery bees cheese beet cheat beets cheats bellow cello bellows cellos Bern churn berry cherry berries cherries Bess chess best chest bests chests beta cheetah betas cheetahs bib bitch bibbing bitching bid chid bide chide bided chided bides chides biding chiding bier cheer biers cheers bill chill billed chilled billing chilling bills chills Billy chilli billies chillies Billy Chile Billy chilly bin chin bins chins bine chine bines chines birch church birches churches bit chit bits chits blob blotch boar chore boars chores boars chaw boars chaws board chawed bob botch bobbing botching bobbies botches boo chew booed chewed booing chewing boos chews boos choose booze chews booze choose boozes chooses boozing choosing boozy choosey boozier choosier booziest choosiest bore chore bores chores bore chaw bored chawed bores chaws bough chow boughs chows bow chow bows chows bows chose box chocks box chocs buck chuck bucked chucked bucking chucking bucks chucks buckle chuckle buckled chuckled buckles chuckles buckling chuckling bug chug bugged chugged bugging chugging bugs chugs build chilled bum chum bummed chummed bumming chumming bums chums bump chump bumps chumps bunk chunk bunks chunks bury cherry buries cherries burn churn burned churned burning churning burns churns burp chirp burped chirped burping chirping burps chirps cab catch cabbies catches cabby catchy club clutch clubbing clutching dub Dutch ebb etch ebbing etching Feb fetch habit hatchet habits hatchets hub hutch hubbies hutches knob notch lab latch neighbour nature neighbours natures nib niche nob notch rabbit ratchet rabbits ratchets rib rich robe roach stabber stature sub such tub touch tubby touchy tubbier touchier tubbiest touchiest
John Higgins, Shaftesbury, January 2010.