In linguistics, an elision or deletion is the omission of one or more sounds in a word or phrase. The word elision is frequently used in linguistic description of living languages, and deletion is often used in historical linguistics for a historical sound change.
While often described as occurring in "slurred" speech, elisions are a normal speech phenomenon and come naturally to native speakers of the language in which they occur. Contractions such as can notcan't involve elision, and "dropping" of word-internal unstressed vowels is frequent: MississippiMissippi, historyhistry, mathematicsmathmatics.
In French, elisions are mandatory in certain contexts, as in.
Elisions likely occurred regularly in Latin, but were not written, except in inscriptions and comedy. Elision of a vowel before a word starting in a vowel is frequent in poetry, where the metre sometimes requires it. For example, the opening line of Catullus 3 is Lugete, O Veneres Cupidinesque, but would be read as Lugeto Veneres Cupidinesque.
Some morphemes take the form of elision: see disfix.
The opposite of elision is epenthesis, whereby sounds are inserted into a word, as in American English ath'lete, real'tor. The latter illustrates that this and other phenomena do not necessarily occur to ease pronunciation; even speakers who produce realtor regularly show no difficulty in pronouncing the cluster of Walter, helter skelter, filter, etc.
The omission of a word from a phrase or sentence is not elision but ellipsis, or elliptical construction.


In linguistics, an elision is the deletion of a sound or sounds. When notating an elision in phonological rules, the null sign, standing for phonological zero, marks the place where a sound has been deleted:
Either all cases of a sound are deleted, or a sound is deleted in a limited number of cases. These cases can often be described with a phonological rule.
Ecthlipsis in Latin poetry is the elision of a vowel and the letter before a word beginning with a vowel:
Syncope is the elision of vowels between consonants. Aphaeresis is the elision of a sound at the beginning of a word. Apocope is the loss of a sound at the end of a word.
Elision is the final stage in lenition or consonant weakening, the last phase of a cline describable as, e.g., t > d > ð > . Whether the elision is of vowel or consonant, if it is consistent through time, the form with elision may come to be accepted as the norm: tabula > tabla as in Spanish, mutare > muer 'change, molt' in French, luna > lua 'moon' in Portuguese.


Even though the effort that it takes to pronounce a word does not have any direct influence on writing, a word or phrase may be spelled the same as it is spoken, for example, in poetry or in the script for a theatre play, in order to show the actual speech of a character. It may also be used in an attempt to transcribe non-standard speech. Some kinds of elisions are commonly used in poetry in order to preserve a particular rhythm.
In some languages employing the Latin alphabet, such as English, the omitted letters in a contraction are replaced by an apostrophe. Greek, which does not use the Latin alphabet but instead uses the Greek alphabet, marks elisions in the same way.



Examples of elision in English:
WordIPA before elisionIPA after elision
temperature,, sometimes
going to
it is, it has,
I have
is not

Most elisions in English are not mandatory, but they are used in common practice and even sometimes in more formal speech. This applies to nearly all the examples in the above table. However, these types of elisions are rarely shown in modern writing and never shown in formal writing. In formal writing, the words are written the same whether or not the speaker would elide them, but in many plays and classic American literature, words are often written with an elision to demonstrate accent:
Other examples, such as him and going to shown above, are generally used only in fast or informal speech. They are still generally written as is unless the writer intends to show the dialect or speech patterns of the speaker.
The third type of elision is in common contractions, such as can't, isn't, or I'm. The apostrophes represent the sounds that are removed and are not spoken but help the reader to understand that it is a contraction and not a word of its own. These contractions used to be written out when transcribed even if they were pronounced as a contraction, but now they are always written as a contraction so long as they are spoken that way. However, they are by no means mandatory and a speaker or writer may choose to keep the words distinct rather than contract them either as a stylistic choice, when using formal register, to make meaning clearer to children or non-native English speakers, or to emphasize a word within the contraction
In non-rhotic accents of English, is dropped unless it's followed by a vowel, making cheetah and cheater completely homophonous. In non-rhotic accents spoken outside of North America, many instances of correspond to in North American English as and are used instead of.


The consonant in the partitive case ending -ta elides when it is surrounded by two short vowels except when the first of the two vowels involved is paragoge. Otherwise, it stays. For example, katto+ta → kattoa, ranta+ta → rantaa, but työ+tä → työtä, mies+ta → miestä, jousi+ta → jousta.


Elision of unstressed vowels is common in the French language and, in some cases, must be indicated orthographically with an apostrophe. For further information about final vowel elision, see Elision.
Elision of vowel and consonant sounds was also an important phenomenon in the phonological evolution of French. For example, s following a vowel and preceding another consonant regularly elided, with compensatory lengthening of the vowel.
Nouns and adjectives that end with unstressed "el" or "er" have the "e" elided when they are declined or a suffix follows. ex. teuer becomes teure, teuren, etc., and Himmel + -isch becomes himmlisch.
The final e of a noun is also elided when another noun or suffix is concatenated onto it: Strafe + Gesetzbuch becomes Strafgesetzbuch.
In both of the above cases, the e represents a schwa.


Elision is common in Icelandic. There are a variety of rules for its occurrence, but the most notable is the loss of trailing consonants in common particles as well as the merger of similar vowel sounds. For example, the ubiquitous ég er að structure becomes transformed to éra ; the full particles is spoken only when a person is sounding the sentence out word by word. Another noteworthy and extremely common example along this line includes the phrase er það ekki? which is pronounced as erþakki. A common example of internal consonant loss in Icelandic is gerðu svo vel, pronounced gjersovel. Another special case of elision is the loss of from the start of þetta, which is sometimes pronounced etta. The pronunciation of the full word tends to lay emphasis on it while the elision of the word leads to its deemphasis. The loss of the in þetta is similar to how can be lost in "that" and "this" when asking a question and speaking swiftly in English.


Elision is found in the Ulster dialect of Irish, particularly in final position. Iontach, for example, while pronounced in the Conamara dialect, is pronounced in Ulster. n is also elided when it begins intervocalic consonant clusters. Anró is pronounced aró; muintir is pronounced muitir.


Elision is extremely common in the pronunciation of the Japanese language. In general, a high vowel that appears in a low-pitched syllable between two voiceless consonants is devoiced and often deleted outright. However, unlike French or English, Japanese does not often show elision in writing. The process is purely phonetic and varies considerably depending on the dialect or level of formality. A few examples :
Gender roles also influence elision in Japanese. It is considered masculine to elide, especially the final u of the polite verb forms, but women are traditionally encouraged to do the opposite. However, excessive elision is generally viewed as basilectic, and inadequate elision is seen as overly fussy or old-fashioned. Some nonstandard dialects, such as Satsuma-ben, are known for their extensive elision.
It is common for successive o sounds to be reduced to a single o sound, as is frequently encountered when the particle を is followed by the beautifying or honorific お. See Japanese particles and Honorific speech in Japanese.


Latin poetry featured frequent elision, with syllables being dropped to fit the meter or for euphony. Words ending in vowels would elide with the following word if it started with a vowel or h; words ending with -m would also be elided in the same way. In writing, unlike in Greek, this would not be shown, with the normal spelling of the word represented. For instance, line 5 of Virgil's Aeneid is written as "multa quoque et bello passus, dum conderet urbem", even though it would be pronounced as "multa quoquet bello passus, dum conderet urbem".
Other examples of elision in Latin literature include:
Dropping sounds in connected speech by native speakers is very common in this language from Kerala, southern India. For example, entha becomes ntha and ippol becomes ippo.


The change of Latin into the Romance languages included a significant amount of elision, especially syncope. Spanish has these examples:
In addition, speakers often employ crasis or elision between two words to avoid a hiatus caused by vowels: the choice of which to use depends upon whether or not the vowels are identical.
A frequent informal use is the elision of d in the past participle suffix -ado, pronouncing cansado as cansao. The elision of d in -ido is considered even more informal, but both elisions common in Andalusian Spanish. Thus, the Andalusian quejío for quejido has entered Standard Spanish as a term for a special feature of Flamenco singing. Similar distinctions are made with the words bailaor and cantaor as contracted versions of the literal translations for dancer and singer exclusively used for Flamenco, compared to the bailarín and cantante of standard Spanish. The perceived vulgarity of the silent d may lead to hypercorrections like *bacalado for bacalao or *Bilbado for Bilbao.


has a set of rules for elision. They are categorised into classes based on the phoneme where elision occurs:
Class namePhoneme
Aaythakkurukkamthe special character akh


Elision is a major feature of Welsh, found commonly in verb forms, such as in the following examples: