1. In the introduction, Campbell summarizes research methods of mental processes in translation, namely; Think-aloud protocols, word-based experimental techniques (rooted in cognitive psychology), and neuroimaging. He refers to an 'overlooked' process which can shed light on the translator behavior; the target text itself.
2. The second part discusses (The basic architecture of mental processing), Campbell discusses his first attempted to model lexical decision-making based on the notion that translation involves sequential steps. Later, he concluded that the process of decision making involves the simultaneous sequencing of information of various types; lexical, semantic, syntactic, pragmatic, etc.
3. In the third section (Principles of choice network analysis), the paper lists five principles for CNA:
- Target texts can be used as a tangible source of evidence of mental processing in translation, and an alternative to experimental data and think-aloud protocols.
- The products of a sample of subjects translating the same text into the same language will reveal a range of differences and similarities in the behaviors of the subjects.
- As the sample becomes larger, the complete range of behaviors of translators of that text between those languages is approached.
- A model of the mental processing underlying the translation of that text in that language combination can be inferred through a comparison and classification of the behaviors of the sample of subjects;
- General principles about mental processing can be extracted from analyses of specific texts and language combinations, and used as hypotheses for examining other texts and language combinations'
- CNA can be used to reveal contrasts between the translatability of specific language pairs, making this an empirically based rather than a theory-driven exercise.
- CNA is also useful for estimating the relative difficulty of parts of source texts.
- CNA can also be used to compare the strategies of novice and expert translators, and those of translators into the first and second language.
- CNA is a valuable tool for generating hypotheses about translation that can be tested by other research methods.
7. Section seven tackled Principles for building networks which include:
- The need for the network to account for every piece of data in the sample that is relevant to the domain of the theoretical framework of the investigator.
- The network must be linguistically plausible.
- It must be optimally parsimonious, i.e. it should contain the minimum number of nodes and branches that will account for all the data while remaining plausible
- Text processing is basically linear as we tend to process from the beginning of a string, despite subsequent passes and post-editing.
- Choices at any point in the string may constrain subsequent choices; these constraints are the unavoidable product of grammar.
- CNA is an empirical research procedure that takes the approach of comparing multiple subjects' translations of the same text.
- It complements and, in some respects, improves on current research paradigms in translation research such as think-aloud protocols and psychological word-based experiments.
- The procedure has a range of applications in contrastive translation research, in the study of difficulty, and in the investigation of translation competence.
- It is a sound procedure for generating research hypotheses, and for testing psycholinguistic theories about translation.
Campbell, S. (2017). Choice network analysis in translation research. Intercultural fault lines: research models in Translation Studies I, 29-42.