O'Reilly logo

Modern Compiler Implementation in Java, Second Edition by Jens Palsberg, Andrew W. Appel

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

2Lexical Analysis

lex-i-cal: of or relating to words or the vocabulary of a language as distinguished from its grammar and construction

Webster’s Dictionary

To translate a program from one language into another, a compiler must first pull it apart and understand its structure and meaning, then put it together in a different way. The front end of the compiler performs analysis; the back end does synthesis.

The analysis is usually broken up into

 

Lexical analysis: breaking the input into individual words or “tokens”;

Syntax analysis: parsing the phrase structure of the program; and

Semantic analysis: calculating the program’s meaning.

The lexical analyzer takes a stream of characters and produces a stream of names, keywords, and punctuation marks; ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required