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5.3.2 Specifying Operator Precedence

Bison allows you to specify these choices with the operator precedence declarations %left and %right. Each such declaration contains a list of tokens, which are operators whose precedence and associativity is being declared. The %left declaration makes all those operators left-associative and the %right declaration makes them right-associative. A third alternative is %nonassoc, which declares that it is a syntax error to find the same operator twice “in a row”. The last alternative, %precedence, allows to define only precedence and no associativity at all. As a result, any associativity-related conflict that remains will be reported as an compile-time error. The directive %nonassoc creates run-time error: using the operator in a associative way is a syntax error. The directive %precedence creates compile-time errors: an operator can be involved in an associativity-related conflict, contrary to what expected the grammar author.

The relative precedence of different operators is controlled by the order in which they are declared. The first precedence/associativity declaration in the file declares the operators whose precedence is lowest, the next such declaration declares the operators whose precedence is a little higher, and so on.