This article discusses Maltese words containing an innovative final /n/, arguing that /n/ addition is motivated by speakers’ expectation that lexical items resemble prototypical Maltese phonological words. /n/ is added to items that deviate from this prototype in containing a word-final stressed open syllable. Syllable closure through consonant addition eliminates this deviation. /n/ is the consonant chosen because of its pre-existing alternation with zero wordfinally. Discussion of the details of this process and the items it does (not) affect sheds light on the history of Arabic and Maltese, as well as on the nature of irregular phonological change in general.