Additive focus particles that translate as ‘too’ or ‘also’ have the function of indicating that a proposition applies to an element in addition to other, contextually given elements. Examples are given in (1).
a. My mother liked my cake, and my brother, too, liked it.
b. Kim already knew it. Finally I also told Pat.
c. First they danced and then they also kissed.
There is always an implicit or explicit contrast between the additional element and the other element(s), so additive constructions like (1) are a type of focus construction. The additive marker (in boldface in 1a-c) is typically adjacent to the element that is in focus (in small caps in 1a-c), but it may also be non-adjacent, as in (1b). The focused element is typically a noun phrase, but it can be any other focusable expression, including a verb, as in (1c). But almost all of our examples involve focused noun phrases.
All European languages have special words that function in this way, so the term focus particle has become widely used for such words (König 1991). But the same function can be fulfilled by affixal markers, so focus operator would be a more precise term (cf. Gast & van der Auwera 2011). We retain the term focus particle here, as additive affixes are quite marginal in the present context (though the suffix -sh occurs in the mixed language Media Lengua, following Quechua, e.g. otro muchacho-guna-sh [other boy-pl-add] ‘other boys, too’).
In a few of the APiCS languages, it is not clear that there are special additive particles, because the element that is used to render ‘also’ is also used in the meaning ‘again’ or ‘himself’. European languages distinguish strictly between ‘Jane herself’ and ‘Jane, too’, and between ‘they also kissed’ and ‘they kissed again’. The latter distinction is not made in Yimas-Arafundi Pidgin, for example, and quite a few English-based languages use the self word also to render ‘also’, so it may well be that it is a general contrast marker that is vague between intensifier usage (see Chapter 88) and additive focus operator usage. Be that as it may, we regard all these overt elements which occur as translation equivalents of English ‘also’ as focus particles for the purposes of this chapter.
The question we ask about focus particles is whether they occur adjacent to the focused element (values 1-2) or not (values 3-4), and whether they precede or follow it. This yields four different positional options, which are not exclusive. In fact, multiple options are quite common: Twenty-six languages allow two orders, and four languages allow three orders. Most commonly, the same focus particle occurs in different positions, but a language may have two different particles with different positional properties (like English too and also).
|Before the focused element||1||9||10|
|After the focused element||39||29||68|
We see that adjacent position is more common than non-adjacent position, and particle-after-focus is much more common than particle-before-focus.
Unfortunately, it is difficult to assess these results with respect to the issue of universal trends vs. substrate influence, because very little comparative research has been done on the position of focus particles in the world’s languages. Impressionistically one can say that the English-based and Romance-based languages tend to be similar to their lexifiers. However, there are a number of clearly innovative focus particles, such as again or self (meaning ‘also’) in English-based languages.
Only one language, Chinuk Wawa, has adjacent particle-before-focus position as the only option:
Adjacent preceding position is found especially in a few African languages, including Arabic-based and Bantu-based languages, e.g. Lingala aliákí pé lípa [he.ate also bread], which occurs alongside aliákí lípa pé [he.ate bread also]. In English-based languages, it is very marginal, but it occurs in Afrikaans (ook Jan ‘Jan, too’) and in Cape Verdean Creole:
In most languages, the focus particle immediately follows the focused element. In 39 languages, this is the only option, e.g. in the following languages:
In the Portuguese- and Spanish-based languages, the word também/también has usually survived in some form, and in the French-based languages, aussi/osi is widely used. Some French-based languages have preserved the older or dialectal form tou, which also follows its focus, e.g.
In the English-based languages, too is more widely found than also; the latter is only found in acrolectal Nicaraguan Creole English (see (12) below), Singlish and Hawai’i Creole. Kriol has both too and again, both of which follow their focus:
In quite a few languages, the ‘also’ word may be non-adjacent. Non-adjacent occurrence before the focus (value 3) is uncommon and is never the only option. In Chabacano, it involves the particle rin from a Philippinic language, and in English-based languages, it occasionally occurs as in Standard English (cf. 12).
Non-adjacent occurrence after the focus (value 4) is quite common, especially with words deriving from English too, but also with words from French aussi and from Portuguese também:
One problem with the value assignment is that non-adjacent position is not always easily distinguishable from adjacent position. Thus, in (10a), tu ‘too’ occurs immediately after the focus, but is simultaneously clause-final. It may well be that not all value assignments reflect the most general statement of the ordering rules in the language. Position of focus particle is an under-researched domain both in pidgin and creole studies and in general comparative linguistics.