Inconsistencies of pure LISP

  • Andreas Eick
  • Elfriede Fehr
Contributed Papers
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 145)


In a first informal section we shall discuss some problems with definitions of list functions. In particular we motivate the restrictions of pure LISP with respect to list expressions using the full lambda definability.

In sections two and three we formally define the lambda-semantics of the pure LISP language as well as the denotational description of the original semantics of pure LISP as defined by the interpreter EVALQUOTE. In the last section, we show that even for this restricted language the interpreter does not work correctly with respect to the laws of the λ-calculus.

These results sharpen previous results by Perrot [6], Simon [7] and others, which point out that the usage of functional arguments in extended LISP destroys the α- and β-convertibility of LISP-expressions.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andreas Eick
    • 1
  • Elfriede Fehr
    • 1
  1. 1.Lehrstuhl für Informatik II RWTH AachenGermany

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