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I love you too and I too love you

If the adverb is too, then what it does modify. Either it modifies the pronouns I and you respectively or the verb love?

2 Answers 2

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'Too' certainly doesn't necessarily directly qualify the verb, as a prototypical adverb does:

  • I love you dearly / I dearly love you.

Gast [@ De Gruyter] classes 'also', and this sense of 'too', as additive particles.

Druskat, in The distribution of also and too, examines POS-tagging, commenting:

The two preceding studies concerned with the distribution of also and too, Fjelkestam-Nilsson (1983) and Gast (2006), classify them differently. While Fjelkestam-Nilsson chooses a term relative to their grammatical function – ‘additive adverbials’ – and follows Quirk & Greenbaum (1973) in sub-classifying them as ‘additive focusing adjuncts’, Gast classifies them on the level of lexical category and adopts a terminology that accounts for any difficulties in assigning also and too to any one strict grammatical function by using the rather open term ‘additive particles’.

...............

  • (2) I too love you

means                                                           A (,B, C ...) love you, and so do I.

  • (1) I love you too

is polysemous, and can mean                  (a) A (,B, C ...) love/s you, and so do I.

                                                                        (b) [I love A, B, and C ...] and you.

                                                                        (c) [You love me, and] I you.

                                                                        (d) [As well as being your friend,] I love you.

                                                                        (e) [As well as everything I've just stated,] I love you.

In speech, primary and secondary stress would probably be:

  • 1(a)                                                             I love you too.

  • 1(b)                                                             I love you too.

  • 1(c)                                                             I love you too.

  • 1(d)                                                             I love you too.

  • 1(e)                                                             I love you too.

which, together with context, helps disambiguate.

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"too" can sometimes be understood to modify not a single word but the entire assertion.

too can express reciprocity:

(You have said that you love me). I love you too.

There the entire assertion "I love you" is being framed or cast by too as reciprocal.

too can express the notion of (in) addition:

Another loves you. I too love you.

Another loves you. I love you too.

In the former, there is syntactic emphasis on I by virtue of the placement of too, drawing attention to I. And in the latter there would probably be a vocal tonal emphasis on I when speaking .

I love another. I love you too.

you also are someone I love. There would probably be a vocal emphasis on you and on too when speaking, in metrical terms, a spondee. I love YOU TOO.

I like the red one. I like the blue one too. I like them both. Vocal emphasis on blue.

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  • That means "too", as an adverb, qualifies those sentences wholly. Am I right?
    – Fuad9
    Commented Apr 9 at 17:11

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