4

Do native speakers pronounce "h" when saying "yeah"?

Someone says yes, and someone says no.

Maybe it's not a standard question, but I am wondering. Maybe it is pronounced with aspiration?

9

Standard English does not use the /h/ sound at the end of syllables, only at the beginning. (In fact, I have never heard a dialect with final /h/.) Yeah is pronounced “yĕ-uh” (/jɛə/ in IPA notation), with a diphthong or glide ending with the “uh” (/ə/) sound.

The {h} in the spelling is there to distinguish yeah from yea, a now-archaic word for yes which is pronounced “yay” (/jeɪ/). The {h} indicates that the {a}, representing /ə/, is a distinct sound.

  • 1
    I know the French in general find it at least "difficult" to articulate an /h/ at the beginning of a word, but I can't begin to get my head around how it would even be possible to articulate /h/ at the end of a word. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica May 20 '14 at 22:18
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    @FumbleFingers Think of it is a very attenuated {ch}, as in German ach. – StoneyB on hiatus May 20 '14 at 22:26
  • By the way, its /jɛə/ (or maybe /jæə/) in IPA, not /yɛə/ – aestrivex May 20 '14 at 22:35
  • @aestrivex Of course you're right. That's what happens when you get lazy and cut-and-paste. – StoneyB on hiatus May 20 '14 at 22:39
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    @FumbleFingers, try saying "behind", then say it again without the "ind". It's strange for you because English doesn't allow final /h/, but plenty of languages do. – Joe May 20 '14 at 23:22

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