This present study on the lien5 and ya3/du3 construction in Hakka has four claims. First, structurally, lien5 needs to be associated with a fronted constituent that serves as a contrastive topic that is fronted at the beginning of a construction. Second, semantically, the construction denotes inclusion of the element which is being focused on as a member of the biggest sum individual (the largest number of possible elements which could be reasonably contained in a group) and renders it as the extreme value. Not only does each part of the construction contribute to the overall meaning, but the construction itself also contributes an extra meaning—that the element which is being focused on has to characterize the least expected value. Third, the felicity in using this construction interacts with the meaning of lien5 and general principles of conversation; in this respect, lien5 hence differs from English even, which conventionally refers to a likelihood scalar. Finally, this construction is employed to enhance the informative value of the form in question.
Bulletin of the Institute of History and Philology Academia Sinica, 79, 343-376