Paul Carley, our phonetic tracker dog, (Paul, no insult intended!) has dug up some interesting examples which are worth being preserved1.
The speaker is the Diocesan Canon Angela Tilby from Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford.
|credit: Christ Church, Oxford|
1. "Most of us have Walter Mitty moments; flashes of fantasy in which we enjoy unlimited power, riches, success or sex."
2. "If when an invitation comes, you find yourself scheming your way to turning your fantasy into reality you run the risk of implosion."
3. "It's only when the opportunity appears to realise those unlived fantasies that we have to make a choice of whether to pursue them or resist."
4. "Being completely humiliated by the exposure of your own fantasies is a terrible ordeal but it is also a moment of opportunity."
You first hear the whole sentence, next the word in isolation and then the final syllable only.
What you clearly hear - at least this is what MY ears tell me - is that fantasy1 and fantasies3 and fantasies4 rather display the quality of the KIT vowel in their final syllables, whereas fantasy2 is pronounced with the quality of FLEECE.
Paul has an explanation for the KIT vowel quality in fantasy1: "I think the cut out bit of fantasy 1 includes a bit of the following 'in', and that's why it sounds a bit like KIT."
In the case of fantasy2 the cotext of the word is slightly different. The next word ('into') also begins with a KIT vowel; however, there is a speech pause before it. So it seems more likely that the speaker has a FLEECE quality before and a KIT quality after the pause.
Canon Tilby's speech contains additional words with the happY vowel, e.g. society, desirability, story, Mitty, recently, only, really, opportunity, spirituality, respectability, highly, any, completely, integrity. But I won't examine these.
1 BBC Radio broadcasts are usually available online for seven days only.