I know $CSL\subset UL$ can be demonstrated by reduction to the absurd, but I've been trying to find a language that is in Type 0 ($UL$) and not in Context-Sensitive Languages ($CSL$).

Is there any language with such restrictions that isn't a Context-Sensitive language?

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    $\begingroup$ As UL is the same as recursively enumerable and CSL the same as NSPACE[n] (see, e.g., Wikipedia), you may use your favorite version of the Space hierarchy theorem to get your language in UL \ CSL. $\endgroup$ Feb 22, 2011 at 3:15
  • $\begingroup$ @Michaël Cadilhac, I think you can post it as answer so the question becomes answered. $\endgroup$
    – Kaveh
    Feb 22, 2011 at 4:26
  • $\begingroup$ @Kaveh You're right. @Michaël, post it as an answer, and add something if you want, to mark is at the right answer ;) $\endgroup$ Feb 22, 2011 at 4:35

2 Answers 2


Type 0 grammars denote exactly recursively enumerable languages, and CSL = NSPACE[$n$] (e.g., Wikipedia). Thus, your favorite proof of the Space Hierarchy Theorem gives an explicit language in, say, NSPACE[$n^2$] \ NSPACE[$n$], thus in UL \ CSL.

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    $\begingroup$ Or more simply, any RE-complete problem, like the halting language. $\endgroup$ Feb 22, 2011 at 14:08
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    $\begingroup$ Of course ; that's indeed the "farthest" language from CSL to fit, and I proposed the "farthest" language from UL for the same job. $\endgroup$ Feb 22, 2011 at 15:16
  • $\begingroup$ to be more adequate with the statement "NSPACE[n2] \ NSPACE[n], thus in UL \ CSL", better to say it is so if P<>NP. $\endgroup$
    – Charles Yu
    Apr 18, 2013 at 16:48

Since deciding membership for a context-sensitive grammar is in $PSPACE$ ($NSPACE[n]$ even), any language not in $PSPACE$ is not expressable by a context-sensitive grammar. An example is therefore the language of all true propositions in Presburger arithmetic (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presburger_arithmetic).

Since we suspect that $PSPACE \neq EXPTIME$, we expect any $EXPTIME$-hard language to be sufficient. Alternatively, any $EXPSPACE$-hard problem is provably not context-sensitive by the space hierarchy theorem.


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