This study explores processing characteristics of a glottal stop in Maltese which occurs both as a phoneme and as an epenthetic stop for vowel-initial words. Experiment 1 shows that its hyperarticulation is not necessarily mapped onto an underlying form, although listeners may interpret it as underlying at a later processing stage. Experiment 2 shows that listeners' experience with a particular speaker's use of a glottal stop exclusively as a phoneme does not modulate competition patterns accordingly. Not only are vowel-initial words activated by [Ê]-initial forms, but /Ê/-initial words are also activated by vowel-initial forms, suggesting that lexical access is not constrained by an initial acoustic mismatch that involves a glottal stop. Experiment 3 reveals that the observed pattern is not generalizable to an oral stop /t/. We propose that glottal stops have a special status in lexical processing: it is prosodic in nature to be licensed by the prosodic structure.