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Lexical Analysis

What Does Lexical Analysis Mean?

Lexical analysis is a concept that is applied to computer
science in a very similar way that it is applied to linguistics. Essentially,
lexical analysis means grouping a stream of letters or sounds into sets of
units that represent meaningful syntax. In linguistics, it is called parsing,
and in computer science, it can be called parsing or tokenizing.


Techopedia Explains Lexical Analysis

The idea of lexical analysis in computer science is that
lexical analysis breaks streams down into “lexemes” where a token represents
the basic unit of meaning. Tokens are strung together in such a way that the
language compiler must go back and isolate them to implement the right
computing instructions. Basically, both humans and computers do lexical
analysis, but computers do it differently, and in a much more technical way.
The way that computers do lexical analysis does not need to be transparent to
humans – it just has to be programmed into the computing system. Programs that
do lexical analysis in computer science are often called lexers, tokenizers or


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