Here is a follow-up article by her new father about her progress in learning Dutch. Apparently she was four and a half years old when she came to the Netherlands although her father said five and a half in the first article. According to the new article, Nene is now five (or almost six?) and has been totally immersed in Dutch for six months.
Yes! Bijna zes en van Hongaars naar Nederlands
TRANSLATION WITH MICROSOFT APP:
Daddy come to swim
Posted on 6 August 2019 06:18 by Mare van Oostendorp
The language of Nene
Nene is five and a half years old, she was born in Hungary, and she has lived in the Netherlands for three months where people no longer speak Hungarian to her. In the meantime, she does not normally speak Hungarian anymore, on a single word. This also applies if, for example, she is only playing or saying something in her sleep.
That does not mean, of course, that this Dutch is the same as that of other five year olds. She still has many words to catch up with: where those other children have been working on every day to pick up some words, she is of course not after a few months on the same level. Yet this vocabulary is expanding, and by now she also says Dutch words that I don't use. When I said to her, she had to sit in the food, she said ' buttocks ', which is probably the language of the teacher at school.
I think her syntax is a bit ahead of her morphology. She already makes rather complicated sentences, but does not inflect the verbs yet. "Daddy say delicious food" means Daddy said we were eating goodies now: that is a clause embedded in a main phrase.
Recently she even said ' daddy come to swim ', with a cluster of three embedded verbs. They were in a sequence that does not appear in any variety of Dutch, but that shows that they made that structure all by themselves.
The only verbs that are not in the indefinite term are auxiliary verbs ' that cannot ', ' should not talk ', etc. Perhaps it is a frequency affect. Nene also occasionally uses a kind of supportive (' raining '), but as far as I can see it always stands in the indefinite
It's going so fast! De specialist Gabor Pusztai from Debrecen told me that he did research on Hungarian children who came to the Netherlands after the Second World War for a few months. When they went back, they could hardly tell their parents what they had been through: that was all saved in Dutch.
I find it hard to say what would happen to Nene, when we come across our Hungarian neighbour, she still seems to understand what she is saying. Unfortunately, it is not possible for us to further support Hungarian. We hardly speak about it and there are no Hungarian children in the area. There is a Hungarian school in The Hague, but that is a bit far away.