Unable to find out how the C-language lexical analyzer would tokenize the declaration of a static array. Say, int i[3]= {1,2,3};

The lexical analyzer would need to differentiate between just an integer identifier i, and a static array of size 3.

Am confused how the lexical analyzer would make tokens.

Tried Holub's book, among others, but couldn't find anything.

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1 Answer 1


Generally speaking a lexer (tokenizer) isn't concerned with semantics, only with classifying symbols, so i is just an identifier without meaning. It is the semantic analysis that connects the symbols with meaning. So, in the lex analysis no "distinguishing" needs to be done and generally won't be (can't be) if the tokenizing is single pass without backtracking. When i is analyzed, even the left bracket hasn't yet been considered.

It is possible, of course, to combine lex analysis (words) and semantic (meaning) analysis but it isn't normally done.

At the end of lexical analysis you have a list of all of the symbols in the program, those known (int, say) and those user defined, such as identifiers.


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