Features of Languages Topic 4.3.2 / Core
Key points
  • the essential features of a computer language.
Vocabulary
  • fixed vocabulary;
  • unambiguous meaning;
  • consistent semantics (grammar);
  • syntax;
  • program vs. programme.
Resources
  • Computer Science - an overview section 5.4 Language Implementation pp. 237 - 245.
Related topics

TOK Language and meaning

Starter

The problems of semantics [The Two Ronnies, BBC, 1973]

Tasks
  1. Presentation on Features of Programming Languages
  2. Research the Java reserved words, format them all on one side of paper to be printed out as a poster
  3. Watch this video clip on the history of computer languages.
  4. Here's an example of an assembly language program. Can you make any sense of it?
  5. Try this worksheet summarising computer languages.
  6. Define semantics and syntax and give an example of how they each relate to programming code. [4 marks] (May 2006 SL P1 q1).
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