This article studies representations of semisimple Lie algebras arising naturally in the l-adic cohomology of algebraic varieties defined over global fields. A conjecture is formulated about the restrictions the index of the cohomology space and the Hodge numbers of a variety impose on the weights of a represention. The conjecture is proved for ordinary varieties over function fields. An analog of the conjecture is valid for the rational cohomology of varieties defined over the field of complex numbers.
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