I'm creating a conlang for worldbuilding, and I'm building vocabulary for basic physical adjectives such as "long/short", "heavy/light", and "hot/cold". The major speakers of this conlang are angels, whose "duties" are to teach people science. As such, I imagined this conlang would have no chance of miscommunication. I thought one way of achieving it would be to let the said vocabulary very literal to the human perceptions. Here's the sketch:


Though one might think the human vision can measure distance between objects well, it actually doesn't measure that; it actually measures the angular distance between them, and angular distance is a dimensionless quantity.

Fortunately, there is an unexpected feature of human vision that measures the actual length of something; it is the wavelength of the perceived light, which is expressed as the hue of a color.

And thus I decided to say "long in length" as re (from "red"), and say "short in length" as wi (from "violet").


Though humans can perceive the flow of time, humans don't have a direct sense to measure the length of a duration. Yet there is an unexpected sense that has something to do with time. Our hearing can perceive the pitch of a sound, which is physically the frequency – the reciprocal of the duration of a cycle.

And thus I decided to say "high in frequency" as hi, and say "low in frequency" as lo. Of course, these refers to frequency and not to time. To refer to time, or to flip the dimension of a quantity in general, replace the positive vowels to negative; for "long in duration" and for "short in duration".


Okay... This is where things get exotic. There is absolutely no perception measuring mass; this fact can be seen by going to the outer space, where there is no g-force to create weight.

Yet there is a physical quantity involving mass that we can perceive by some means. It is pressure, which we perceive by the pressure of the atmosphere, subtracted by the inner pressure of our body.

And thus I decided to say "high in pressure" as mo (from "atmosphere") and "low in pressure" as wa (from "vacuum").

So how I say "heavy in mass" and "light in mass"? Since the physical dimensions – length, frequency, and pressure – form a basis, I can combine the words created so far to indicate multiplicative combination of dimensions, like this:

  • rehi "fast" / wilo "slow"

  • rehihi "high in acceleration" / wilolo "low in acceleration"

  • rere "wide in area" / wiwi "narrow in area"

  • rerere "big in volume" / wiwiwi "small in volume"

  • reremo "strong in force" / wiwiwa "weak in force"

  • rereremo "high in energy" / wiwiwiwa "low in energy"

  • rererehimo "strong in power" / wiwiwilowa "weak in power"

  • remolôlô "heavy in mass" / wiwahîhî "light in mass"

  • mowîwîlôlô "dense" / warêrêhîhî "sparse"

Temperature/Electric current:

And this is where I have a problem. As for temperature, our sense of heat doesn't actually measure temperature. It actually measures the transferred heat per time, which is power.

Electric current is even more troublesome. Does anyone know what sense we use when electric current passes through one's body? The sense of pain maybe?

I supposed that, I should employ some other physical quantities to refer to them. For instance, if I meant ra (from "ignorance") for "high in entropy" and said no (from "knowledge") for "low in entropy", "hot in temperature" would be rereremonô and "cold in temperature" would be wiwiwiwarâ. What would be the best options?

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    Your length idea is nice in theory, but our eyes don't work that way. Our photoreceptors are sensitive to a range of wavelengths, and can only determine the specific wavelength seen because we have three slightly different kinds which respond differently to different ranges of visible light. Also, I'd have used "tenor" and "bass" as the basis for the frequency pair. "High" and "low" are only metaphorically terms for frequency, their literal meaning is for height.
    – No Name
    Mar 4, 2023 at 23:39

1 Answer 1


Well, you should not confuse entropy and temperature, they are different physical concepts. Temperature is, like pressure, an intensive property that is independent on the size of the system. Entropy, on the other hand, is an extensive property like volume that doubles when you double the size of the system. So when your conlang is aware of those physical concepts, it should have different terms for both of them.

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    Specifically, entropy and temperature are conjugates with respect to energy (temperature is energy per unit entropy and vice versa), in exactly the same way as pressure and volume. Which seems to be what OP is doing with his names for hot and cold.
    – No Name
    Mar 4, 2023 at 21:10

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