Hungarian word order: https://hunlang.wordpress.com/category/word-order/
According to how I understood it, it rarely has a fixed word order, the post-fixed stuff is explaining the role of the words in the sentence. So ordering of words in a sentence is just for emphasis
Calling it a SOV language isn't correct.
The word order isn't fixed. The general rule you should remember is that the most important element precedes the "verb", but you can have stuff before after that too.
There are six possible combinations (as you cannot separate nem vagy from each other.) All of them are valid sentences, but they don't all mean the same thing, not all of them sound natural without context.
Itt nem vagy soha means this is the place where you're never at.
Soha itt nem vagy means the same as the above, but it doesn't sound natural by itself. It'd be used only as an answer, for instance if you corrected someone ("this is where you're not at, not that.) Of course, you could use the other sentence too, it doesn't matter.
- Ott soha nem vagyok.
- Soha itt nem vagy. / Itt nem vagy soha.
Attempted translation of the dialogue:
- I am never there.
- You are never here.
I'm confused about the combination of soha and nem - would it be correct to say "soha vagy itt" to mean "you are never here" or does it need to be "soha nem vagy itt"?
I'm thinking of the double-particle negative in French: ne... pas/jamais/aucun... Even though you can drop the first particle in informal spoken speech.
I'm confused as to how you know that it means "YOU are never here" versus "I am never here"
You can see the subject of a sentence (the person who's doing the thing) from the way the verb is conjugated, just like Spanish does it as well.
So in this sentence you have to find the verb and see for which person it's conjugated. The verb here is van/"to be", which is a bit irregular:
- én vagyok - I am
- te vagy - you (sing.) are
- ő van - he/she/it is
- mi vagyunk - we are
- ti vagytok - you (plur.) are
- ő vannak - they are
It may be difficult to find here, since vagy can also mean "or". But luckily that wouldn't make sense.
Would this be more literally translated as "You are not ever here"? Does Soha usually mean "ever" but become "never" when followed by nem?
Soha by its own takes the meaning of 'never', but it can't stand alone. You need to couple it up with another adverb, nem in this case.
Never-not are you here.
It's like 'I'm not doing nothing' which is incorrect in English grammar but often used but I presume Hungarian has those double negatives used within correct grammatical frames like 'Semmi nincz':)