There is a growing awareness in the NLP community of the problems that Multiword Expressions (MWEs) pose and the need for their robust handling. MWEs include a large range of linguistic phenomena, such as phrasal verbs (e.g. "add up"), nominal compounds (e.g. "telephone box"), and institutionalized phrases (e.g. "salt and pepper"). These expressions, which can be syntactically and/or semantically idiosyncratic in nature, are used frequently in everyday language, usually to express precisely ideas and concepts that cannot be compressed into a single word.
Timothy Baldwin et al.: An Empirical Model of Multiword Expression Decomposability (2003) in: Proceedings of the ACL 2003 Workshop on Multiword Expressions: Analysis, Acquisition and Treatment, pp. 89-96.
Nicoletta Calzolari et al.: Towards Best Practice for Multiword Expressions in Computational Lexicons (2002) in: Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC 2002), pp. 1934–40.
Ray Jackendoff: The Architecture of the Language Faculty (1997), Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Ivan A. Sag et al.: Multiword Expressions: A Pain in the Neck for NLP (2002) in: LECTURE NOTES IN COMPUTER SCIENCE, Vol. 2276, pp. 1-15.
Eric Wehrli: Parsing and Collocations (2000) in: LECTURE NOTES IN COMPUTER SCIENCE, Vol. 1835, pp. 272-282.