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This paper presents the formalism of Production Systems and investigates its applcation to defe the Syntax and trlation of programming languages. Several properties appear well-suited to this task: 1) the formalism can be used to specify exactly the syntax of a computer language, including context-sensitive requirements; 2) the specification of the context-sensitive requirements on syntax can be isolated from the context-free requirements; 3) the same formalism can be used to specify more general structural properties, including the translation of one language into another. The notation has been developed with readabifity as a prime designissue. The following examples are given:1) aspecificationofthesyntaxofasmallbutdifflcultsubset of PL/I;2) a specification of the rules for translating lambda-culus expressions into, normal form.