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It refers to the process of reduction of the syllable caused by the end vowel deletion in a word. In the old English we know many terms which are modified in the number of syllable in modern English, such as: 

All terms/words in the left, taken from old English, have two syllables in its pronunciations. Along with the development of English those words encounter modification in modern English by altering the number of syllable and deletion of the final vowel.

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