I am trying to prove why the below language is not context free. Note: this should be carried out by applying the pumping lemma for context free languages.

To prove something with the pumping lemma, we firstly need to choose an arbitrary m > 0. After that we need to formulate the string (alpha below) we are going to reach a contradiction with. But how do I formulate that string? Rational thinking lead me to believe it's the following:

What do I do next?
I have no idea about the length of $w$, and therefore the above approach seems kind of useless.

Is the solution to constrain $w$ to be of length at most $m$?
But again, I wouldn't know what to do from there.

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    – Raphael
    Commented Aug 10, 2017 at 19:09
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    Commented Aug 10, 2017 at 19:09
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1 Answer 1


Here in the notation of the language superscript $R$ is not a number; you cannot choose it to be a length $m$.

Instead $R$ usually denotes the operation of "mirror image" which inverts a string: $(abbaa)^R = aabba$.

Now start rereading your notes on the Pumping Lemma.


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