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Modern Compiler Implementation in C by Maia Ginsburg, Andrew W. Appel

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Abstract Syntax

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ab-stract: disassociated from any specific instance

Webster’s Dictionary

A compiler must do more than recognize whether a sentence belongs to the language of a grammar – it must do something useful with that sentence. The semantic actions of a parser can do useful things with the phrases that are parsed.

In a recursive-descent parser, semantic action code is interspersed with the control flow of the parsing actions. In a parser specified in Yacc, semantic actions are fragments of C program code attached to grammar productions. ...

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