i checked the wiki subarticle "Consonants" and there is an example of /kar/ vs /ca:r/ (youglish link, as evidence for ":") which might not be a good minimal pair. do you know one? /g/ vs /ɟ/ would also work for me.

":" ruins it for me, because I consideer vowel length contrastive. "Karanın kası" means "the muscle of the land", but if I pronounce it as /ka:sı/, it sounds as if someone is dictating the letter k, giving "land" as an example word with initial k.

  • What is your argument against kar vs. *kâr"? This goes to your theory of "minimal pair". – user6726 Jan 15 at 17:42
  • Does Turkish have contrastive vowel length? I didn't think it did. – Draconis Jan 15 at 17:55
  • 1
    @user6726 kâr has a longer a. – cottn Jan 15 at 17:56
  • @Draconis I can't find a resource but I can think of an example of contrastive vowel length (a loanword from Arabic). – cottn Jan 15 at 17:56
  • @cottn, this is an important factual claim that should be in the question. Comments can be deleted without a trace, and the question itself should contain all of the relevant facts. – user6726 Jan 15 at 18:27

Using this web page as an informant, the example [kar] "snow" vs. [car] "profit" is a minimal pair. The only phonetic difference in the words is initial consonant: the vowels are not different in length (performances by the same speaker). In the context __C{#,C}, a long vowel is regularly shortened. It is true that the underlying forms differ w.r.t vowel length, but "minimal pair" is a property of phonetic forms, not underlying forms. Another example is [kap] "container, [cap] "ankles" (glosses are guesswork since that webpage is in Turkish). If you search on the page it gives you all -initial words (kâm retains a long vowel, surprisingly, which is useful for calibrating judgement of vowel length in the [car/kar] example).

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