Finite Automata, Regular Languages and Type 3 Grammars

  • Barbara H. Partee
  • Alice Ter Meulen
  • Robert E. Wall
Part of the Studies in Linguistics and Philosophy book series (SLAP, volume 30)


A finite automaton (fa), or finite state automaton (fsa), is an abstract computing device that receives a string of symbols as input, reads this string one symbol at a time from left to right, and after reading the last symbol halts and signifies either acceptance or rejection of the input. At any point in its computation a fa is in one of a finite number of states. The computations of a fa are directed by a “program,” which is a finite set of instructions for changing from state to state as the automaton reads input symbols. A computation always begins in a designated state, the initial state. There is also a specified set of final states; if the fa ends up in one of these after reading the input, it is accepted; otherwise, it is rejected.


State Diagram Regular Language Finite Automaton Input String Finite State Automaton 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barbara H. Partee
    • 1
  • Alice Ter Meulen
    • 2
  • Robert E. Wall
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of LinguisticsUniversity of MassachusettsAmherstUSA
  2. 2.Departments of Philosophy and LinguisticsIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA
  3. 3.Department of LinguisticsUniversity of TexasAustinUSA

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