When using the archaic 2sg-present conjugation for English verbs, when would you use the longer form (eg knowest) and when would you use the shorter form (`know'st')?

Is it like contemporary English contractions, generally indicating a less formal register?

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    At the time this conjugation was common, spelling was not well standardized. Writers often conveyed variations of pronunciation with variations of spelling. – The Photon Jun 11 '16 at 2:19
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    Or if you read this in a poem or play, they may have abbreviated to keep the meter. – The Photon Jun 11 '16 at 2:21
  • @ThePhoton: Yes, definitely to keep the meter. And as the OP suggests, the other purpose would be to reflect the informal pronunciation - although this particular example somewhat belies that, as it would be strange to pronounce know'st as strictly monosyllabic (rhyming with "toast") – Chappo Hasn't Forgotten Monica Jun 11 '16 at 2:31

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