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Pronunciation question: ę at the end of a sentence


mhurwicz 8 | 16
10 Jun 2019  #1
I think the ę at the end of sentence should not, or at least need not, be nasalized. But in this instructional video:

youtu.be/WPt8Fn8TLZc

At around 5 minutes in, he very distinctly nasalizes the final ę in these sentences:

Chciałbym zamówić kawę
Chciałbym zamówić herbatę

Just wanting to confirm that this is not preferred? Or at least not required? That what's grammatically acceptable is just a little bit of nasal sound. However, I as a foreigner trying to learn the language should probably just avoid the nasalization completely?
Nathans
10 Jun 2019  #2
It is not preferred, it sounds too artificial. Poles don't emphasize the last "ę" of nouns or pretty much anything else.
terri 1 | 1,607
10 Jun 2019  #3
Generally, you will only hear the 'e' at the end.
mafketis 17 | 6,897
10 Jun 2019  #4
I think the ę at the end of sentence should not, or at least need not, be nasalized. B

There's a fair amount of variation in how people pronounced ę at the end of a word. Most speakers most of the time pronounce it exactly as e, but most speakers do have some kind of nasal sound at times especially in certain words and positions... As far as I know no one has carefully studied this.

My impression is that nasalization is a bit more common around breaks in speech (at the end of sentences) and when otherwise the first and third person verb forms would be the same (piszę vs pisze) and się when it's a bit emphasized. I have the idea that the feminine accusative ending is nasalized less often.

In more formal contexts nasalization is a lot more frequent. It's also common 'spelling pronunciations' where ę is pronounced... like ę in the middle of the word (pronouncing będę instead of the usual spoken pronunciation (bende)

Some years ago I translated a paper by a well-known Polish phonetician who said (paraphrasing) that never nasalizing final ę sounds too colloquial and always nasalizing it sounds artificially formal and the best style is to nasalize some and not nasalize others... (but with no info about which to nasalize).
Lyzko 20 | 6,340
10 Jun 2019  #5
In rapid speech, I've only very rarely heard the final "e-sound" distinctly pronounced, except actually for my
Polish teacher who by that time was quite an elderly woman:-)

Other than that, it usually sounds much like an unstressed 'schwa' to my ears.


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