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Pregroups and Lyndon Length Functions

  • I. M. Chiswell
Conference paper
Part of the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute Publications book series (MSRI, volume 19)

Abstract

The term pregroup was introduced by Stallings in [S1] and [S2], and arose from his work on groups with infinitely many ends. The ideas in the definition go back to Baer [Ba]. A pregroup is a set with a partial multiplication having certain group-like properties, to which one can associate a group (the universal group of the pregroup), and there is a normal form for the elements of the group in terms of the pregroup. This generalises the construction of free groups, free products and HNN-extensions. The definition of pregroup is designed to enable the well-known and elegant argument of van der Waerden to be used to prove the normal form theorem (this argument was originally used in [W] for free products). The structure of arbitrary pregroups is mysterious, and the purpose of this article is to give a brief survey of recent progress in understanding them. This involves constructing actions of the universal group on simplicial trees, making use of the order tree of a pregroup, a (of a kind well-known in set theory) generalised tree with basepoint invented by Stallings and introduced in Rimlinger’s book [R2; Sect. 2].

Keywords

Initial Segment Free Product Length Function Simplicial Tree Order Tree 
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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References

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • I. M. Chiswell
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Mathematical SciencesQueen Mary and Westfield CollegeLondonEngland

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