Definition of C LanguageThe C Language is developed for creating system applications that directly interact to the hardware devices such as drivers, kernels etc. C programming is considered as the base for other programming languages, that is why it is known as mother language.
It can be defined in the following ways:
1. Mother language
2. System programming language
3. Procedure-oriented programming language
4. Structured programming language
5. Middle-level programming language
1) C as a mother language
C language is considered as the mother language of all the modern languages because most of the compilers, Java virtual machine’s (JVMs), Kernels etc. are written in C language and most of the languages follow C syntax e.g. C++, Java etc. It provides the core concepts like array, functions, file handling etc. that is being used in many languages like C++, Java, C# etc.
2) C as a system programming language
A system programming language is used to create system software. C language is a system programming language because it can be used to do low-level programming (e.g. driver and kernel). It is generally used to create hardware devices, Operating Systems, drivers, kernels etc. For example, the Linux kernel is written in C.
NOTE: It can’t be used in internet programming like Java, .net, PHP etc.
3) C as a procedural language
A procedure is known as function, method, routine, subroutine etc. A procedural language specifies a series of steps or procedures for the program to solve the problem. A procedural language breaks the program into functions, data structures etc. C is a procedural language. In C, variables and function prototypes must be declared before being used.
4) C as a structured programming language
A structured programming language is a subset of the procedural language. Structure means to break a program into parts or blocks so that it may be easy to understand. In C language, we break the program into parts using functions. It makes the program easier to understand and modify.
5) C as a middle-level programming language
C is considered as a middle-level language because it supports the feature of both low-level and high-level language. C language program is converted into assembly code, supports pointer arithmetic (low level), but it is machine independent (the feature of high level). A low-level language is specific to one machine i.e. machine dependent. It is machine dependent, fast to run. But it is not easy to understand. A high-level language is not specific to one machine i.e. machine independent. It is easy to understand.