In Maltese Arabic, the imperfective form of the triliteral verb is formed by the addition of a prefix CV-to the verb stem. As was shown in the preceding chapter, the quality of this vowel is typically identical to the underlying vocalism of the imperfective stem. However, in verbs which begin with a stem-initial coronal obstruent, the prefix vowel is systematically realized as [i]. It is the exceptional realization of the prefix vowel in these verbs which serves as the basis for discussion in this chapter. I argue that the patterning of the front vowel [i] and coronal obstruents in these cases is most insightfully viewed as a consequence of the fact that these sounds are members of the natural class of coronal sounds. The occurrence of [i] in these forms is analyzed as the result of Vowel Coronal Assimilation, a vowel-toconsonant assimilation rule in which the prefix vowel acquires the place specification [coronal] from a following coronal obstruent. The realization of [i] before coronal obstruents parallels in many ways the realization of [a] which under certain circumstances surfaces as the result of assimilation to the place of articulation of an adjacent guttural consonant.