Generate is a set of rules is said to generate a string or a structure if a finite sequence of applications of those rules will result in the string or structure as output.
a rewrite grammar, consisting of a start symbol, a set of auxiliary symbols, a set of terminal symbols, and a set of rewrite rules is said to generate those sentences or structures that can be arrived at through a finite succession of applications of those rewrite rules starting with applying a rule to the start symbol and each successive rule being applied to the output of the former, until no auxiliary symbols remain. The classes of structures that rules of a given type can generate define the strong generative capacity of that type; the classes of strings that rules of a given type can generate define the weak generative capacity of that type. See Phrase structure rules. In actual practice the term 'generate' has become equivalent to 'characterize explicitly'.
- Brandt Corstius, H. 1974. Algebraische taalkunde, Oosthoek, Utrecht.
- Chomsky, N. 1963. Formal Properties of grammar, in: R.D. e.a. (eds.) Handbook of mathematical psychology, Wiley, New York.
- Hopcroft&Ullman 1969. Formal languages and their relations to automata., Addison-Wesley:Reading Mass.