On how Happy Polish Advanced EFL Learners Are With HappY-Tensing
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This paper aims at investigating the production of happY vowel by advanced Polish learners of English. Although happY tensing has become a regular feature of mainstream RP, it is not explicitly taught at English philologies in Poland. There are few studies that deal with the analysis of the phonetic quality of happY by native speakers of English (Fabricius, 2002; Harrington, 2006), and we know of no published studies aimed at EFL learners. The study presented in this paper included 34 Polish students of English philology. Spectral and durational data on FLEECE, KIT and happY in three contexts (prevocalic, preconsonatal and prepausal) were obtained. The results showed that Polish advanced EFL learners produced happY that is spectrally similar to FLEECE in the prevocalic and prepausal contexts but not in the preconsonantal one. Moreover, the participants did not use duration to make up for the spectral properties of happY. Preconsonantal and prevocalic happY were shorter than FLEECE, whereas prepausal happY was longer than FLEECE due to phrase-final lengthening effects.
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