Ian Preston commenting on my “attriting” posting yesterday:
I have come across “attrit” quite often in statistical contexts, usually spelt without a final “e”, where it is used intransitively to denote what a respondent does who drops out of a longitudinal sample.
Ah, another back-formation from attrition, with the ‘drop out’ meaning of the first sense of back-formed attrite. The second, accented, syllable of attrite has the vowel /aj/, indicating an analysis in which the accented /ɪ/ of attrition is treated as a lax version of the vowel of the base verb (as in ignition, based on ignite); this bit of morphophonology is “undone” in the process of back-formation. However, the spelling ATTRIT strongly suggests a pronunciation with /ɪ/, taken directly from attrition (as in exhibition, based on exhibit).
The evidence of the dictionaries is not entirely clear, however.