Formal Language

A formal language L over an alphabet Σ is a subset of Σ*, that is, a set of words over that alphabet.

In computer science and mathematics, which do not usually deal with natural languages, the adjective "formal" is often omitted as redundant.

While formal language theory usually concerns itself with formal languages that are described by some syntactical rules, the actual definition of the concept "formal language" is only as above: a (possibly infinite) set of finite-length strings, no more nor less. In practice, there are many languages that can be described by rules, such as regular languages or context-free languages. The notion of a formal grammar may be closer to the intuitive concept of a "language," one described by syntactic rules. By an abuse of the definition, a particular formal language is often thought of as being equipped with a formal grammar that describes it.

Read more about Formal Language:  Examples, Language-specification Formalisms, Operations On Languages

Other articles related to "formal language, formal languages, language, formal":

Formal Language - Applications - Formal Theories, Systems and Proofs - Interpretations and Models
... Formal languages are entirely syntactic in nature but may be given semantics that give meaning to the elements of the language ... the set of possible formulas of a particular logic is a formal language, and an interpretation assigns a meaning to each of the formulas—usually, a truth value ... The study of interpretations of formal languages is called formal semantics ...
Formation Rule - Formal Language
... A formal language is an organized set of symbols the essential feature being that it can be precisely defined in terms of just the shapes and locations of those symbols ... Such a language can be defined, then, without any reference to any meanings of any of its expressions it can exist before any interpretation is assigned to it—that ... A formal grammar determines which symbols and sets of symbols are formulas in a formal language ...
Lithuanian Name - Formal and Informal Use - Formal Language - Given Name / Surname Order
... The given name(s) normally comes before the surname ... However, in a list of people sorted alphabetically by surname, the surname usually comes first ...
Process Calculi - Relationship To Other Models of Concurrency
... A process calculus is then a formal language imposed on a history monoid in a consistent fashion ... Thus, a process calculus is to a history monoid what a formal language is to a free monoid (a formal language is a subset of the set of all possible finite-length strings of ...
Process Calculus - Relationship To Other Models of Concurrency
... A process calculus is then a formal language imposed on a history monoid in a consistent fashion ... Thus, a process calculus is to a history monoid what a formal language is to a free monoid (a formal language is a subset of the set of all possible finite-length strings of an alphabet generated by ...

Famous quotes containing the words language and/or formal:

    Language is an archeological vehicle ... the language we speak is a whole palimpsest of human effort and history.
    Russell Hoban (b. 1925)

    Two clergymen disputing whether ordination would be valid without the imposition of both hands, the more formal one said, “Do you think the Holy Dove could fly down with only one wing?”
    Horace Walpole (1717–1797)