This paper discusses the lowering of the high vowels /i,u/ to [e,o] in final syllables in Palestinian Arabic. Such a shift is actually well documented in the literature with regard to final unstressed CVC syllables. Yet whereas previous studies have not stated a clear prosodic condition on the shift, we bring evidence that in the Galilean dialects discussed the shift is clearly conditioned and occurs in the pre-pausal position only. In addition, we show that the same shift occurs in two other positions, viz. final CV and CVCiCi, and that it is not merely qualitative but quantitative as well, so that lowering of /i,u/ to [e,o] often involves certain lengthening, yielding [e.,o.] respectively. In the last section of this article we provide a uniform account for vowel lowering and lengthening in the three types of syllable mentioned. We show that in the pre-pausal environment an additional templatic position is added to the last vowel; and since this position cannot be realized through vowel lengthening, a lowering agent is inserted instead.
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© 2017 The author.