On Echoes and Voices
As literature written in Latin has almost no female authors, we are dependent on male writers for some understanding of the way women would have spoken. Plautus (3rd to 2nd century BCE) and Terence (2nd century BCE) consistently write particular linguistic features into the lines spoken by their female characters: endearments, soft speech, and incoherent focus on numerous small problems. Dorota M. Dutsch describes the construction of this feminine idiom and asks
whether it should be considered as evidence of how Roman women actually spoke.