Seeking reference for citation in article.

I would like to track down earliest published (for citation) introduction of the terminology "abstract syntax." At some point prior to 1975 I picked up (and used) the terminology from the literature I surveyed while turning my doctoral dissertation into a monograph. But I can't find any references in my remaining old research notes.

I was mainly looking at articles by Dana Scott, Strachey, Milner, Landin, McCarthy at the time, and the then-existing literature on denotational semantics.

Additionally, also for citation, suggestions to the "best" discussion of abstract syntax, comparing it to concrete syntax.


Hal Levin

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Towards a mathematical

Towards a mathematical science of computation by John McCarthy.

See Section 12, where he contrasts his definition of a syntax with ALGOL-like langauges.

The easiest way to find it...

Just put something on the web saying that you invented the term and then you'll have people crawling out of the woodwork giving you earlier citations.