String grammar

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The term "string grammar" in computational linguistics (and computer languages) refers to the structure of a specific language, such that it can be formatted as a single continuous string of text,[1] without the need to have line-breaks (or newlines) to alter the meaning. The appearance of any text in "column 1" (or any column) of a line does not change the meaning of that text in a string grammar. A string grammar can be used to describe the structure of some natural languages, such as English or French,[2][3] as well as for some computer languages.

Note that the string-based structure is for defining the grammar of a language, rather than the formatting of the language itself. The production rules, of the grammar, are in the form of continuous text strings.

Benefits of using a string grammar[edit]

When a string grammar is used to define a computer language, some string-grammar parsing tools and compiler-generator tools can be used to more easily create a compiler software system for that particular computer language. Because other grammars can be more difficult to use for parsing text written in a specific computer language, using a string grammar is a means to seek simplicity in language processing.

Unrelated terms that may be confused[edit]

Sometimes the word "string" precedes "grammar" in unrelated terms. An example is "address string grammar", which is a grammar for Internet Protocol address strings.[4] Another is the term "numeric string grammar" which refers to numeric strings (strings which denote numbers or numerals).[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "A Bayesian model of syntax-directed tree to string grammar induction", Trevor Cohn, Phil Blunsom,, April 2010, web: ACM-57.
  2. ^ "The Elimination of Grammatical Restrictions in a String Grammar of English", Morris Salkoff, M. Sager,, New York University, New York, 2010, webpage: ACM2.
  3. ^ A French-English grammar: a contrastive grammar, Morris Salkoff, 1999, 342 pages, p.12, web: Books-Google-8C.
  4. ^ "2.4.4. Address String Grammar",, RHstrgram.
  5. ^ "Variable Typing - The GNU Awk User's Guide", 2010, webpage: GNU-gawk.