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Copy whitespace-delimited text to variable

From: Tim Johnson
Subject: Copy whitespace-delimited text to variable
Date: Wed, 7 Mar 2018 13:40:18 -0900
User-agent: Mutt/1.7.0 (2016-08-17)

GNU Emacs 25.1. on ubuntu 14.04

Is there an elisp function which would return the whitespace
delimited text preceding the cursor?

Example: in elpy
g.args (where cursor is at or following 's')
(current-word) would just return 'args', I need 'g.args'
and I don't wish to modify the syntax table.

Before I roll my own, I'd rather not re-invent the wheel...

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