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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, 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, 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
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.
Sometimes the word "string" precedes "grammar" in unrelated terms. An example is "address string grammar", which is a grammar for Internet Protocol address strings. Another is the term "numeric string grammar" which refers to numeric strings (strings which denote numbers or numerals).
- "A Bayesian model of syntax-directed tree to string grammar induction", Trevor Cohn, Phil Blunsom, ACM.org, April 2010, web: ACM-57.
- "The Elimination of Grammatical Restrictions in a String Grammar of English", Morris Salkoff, M. Sager, ACM.org, New York University, New York, 2010, webpage: ACM2.
- A French-English grammar: a contrastive grammar, Morris Salkoff, 1999, 342 pages, p.12, web: Books-Google-8C.
- "2.4.4. Address String Grammar", Redhat.com, RHstrgram.
- "Variable Typing - The GNU Awk User's Guide" GNU.org, 2010, webpage: GNU-gawk.