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Unmorphologized omissions of sounds from words, often part of a syllable, or an entire syllable, rarely more.

Elided forms are often word forms that are simpler to pronounce that are not formalized in writing.

Consider the seemingly unusual writing of Gloucester, and subtler cases like Parliament, etc.

(You can probably have technical arguments over whether loanwords have adapted or elided.)

Reasons for elision include easier pronunciation after adoption of somewhat unnaturally pronounced words, easing pronunciation of words before formal adoption, dialectical variation, poetic license (e.g. for keeping the meter in poetry), laziness, or even just drunken slurring.

Some elided forms become accepted spellings over time, through common use; consider contractions like "can't" for "cannot". These are often morphologically recognizable tendencies.

See also