The first comment mentions a book which I have not heard of but reminds me of my last post. I did not read this review until after writing that. Here is the review of Native Tongue, HT Aimai
- Set in the twenty-second century, the novel tells of a world where women are once again property, denied civil rights and banned from public life. Earth's wealth depends on interplanetary commerce with alien races, and linguists --a small, clannish group of families --have become the ruling elite by controlling all interplanetary communication. Their women are used to breed perfect translators for all the galaxies' languages.
Nazareth Chornyak, the most talented linguist of the family, is exhausted by her constant work translating for trade organizations, supervising the children's language education, running the compound, and caring for the elderly men. She longs to retire to the Barren House, where women past childbearing age knit, chat, and wait to die. What Nazareth comes to discover is that a slow revolution is going on in the Barren Houses: there, word by word, women are creating a language of their own to free them from men's control.