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The polarized photoluminescence from atomically thin transition metal dichalcogenides is a frequently applied tool to scrutinize optical selection rules and valley physics, yet it is known to sensibly depend on a variety of internal and external material and sample properties. In this work, we apply combined angle- and polarization-resolved spectroscopy to explore the interplay of excitonic physics and phenomena arising from the commonly utilized encapsulation procedure on the optical properties of atomically thin
. We probe monolayers prepared in both suspended and encapsulated manners. We show that the hBN encapsulation significantly enhances the linear polarization of exciton photoluminescence emission at large emission angles. This degree of linear polarization of excitons can increase up to in the hBN encapsulated samples. As we confirm by finite-difference time-domain simulations, it can be directly connected to the optical anisotropy of the hBN layers. In comparison, the linear polarization at finite exciton momenta is significantly reduced in a suspended monolayer, and becomes notable only in cryogenic conditions. This phenomenon strongly suggests that the effect is rooted in the k-dependent anisotropic exchange coupling inherent in 2D excitons. Our results have strong implications on further studies on valley contrasting selection rules and valley coherence phenomena using standard suspended and encapsulated samples.