The traditional account* holds that the form of ㄹ l is the outline of the tongue, 舌 […] 之形, but does not specify what this means. Gari Ledyard proposes that it was a graphic simplification of Phagspa l, ultimately from Tibetan ལ l, though the iconic considerations of the traditional account may have determined the form that this simplification took.
* Hunmin Jeongeum Haerye “Explanations and Examples of the Proper Sounds for the Instruction of the People” (1446), defining and explaining the script now known as 한글 (han-geul, “Great script, Korean script”) in South Korea and 조선글 (joseon-geul, “Korean script”) in North Korea.
ㄹ • (r)
- 리을 (rieul, “rieul”), a letter of the Korean writing system, hangeul; the alveolar flap or approximant ([ɾ], [l])
In the North Korean order, it is the fourth jamo. In the South Korean order, it is the sixth.
ㄹ • (-l)
- that will; who will
- (suffix forming future determiner)
- 친구에게 줄 선물 ― chin-guege jul seonmul ― the gift that I will give to my friend
- that; who
- (suffix forming determiner without tense)
-ㄹ (l/r, “-l”) is appended to the sequential form. Similar to a future participle, the future determiner indicates that the referent of the following substantive will perform the action described by the verb to which -ㄹ (l/r, “-l”) is attached:
- 가다 (gada, “to go”): 가니 (gani, “ga-”) + ㄹ (l): 갈 (gal, “who will go; that sb will go to/at/by...”)
- 묻다 (mutda, “to inquire”): 물으니 (mureuni, “mureu-”) + ㄹ (l): 물을 (mureul, “who will inquire; that sb will inquire”)
- 날다 (nalda, “to fly”): 나니/날면 (nani/nalmyeon, “na-/nal-”) + ㄹ (l): 날 (nal, “that will fly”)
- (future, intention) 그 친구는 이번 기회에 고향집을 찾을 것이라고 했다. (Geu chin-guneun ibeon gihoee gohyangjibeul chajeul geosirago haetda., “He said he will visit his hometown by this chance.”)
- (future, guess) 물이 차가울 것 같다. (Muri chagaul geot gatda., “I guess the water is cold.”)
- cf. 물이 차가운 것 같다. (Muri chagaun geot gatda., “The water seems cold.”) / 물이 차가웠을 것 같다. (Muri chagawosseul geot gatda., “I guess the water was cold.”)
- (no tense) 그가 하는 말 중에 믿을 만한 것이 있을 리가 없다. (Geuga haneun mal jung-e mideul manhan geosi isseul riga eopda., “Among the words he says, what is worth believing cannot ever exist.”)
- (no tense) 목발은 발이나 다리를 다쳐 잘 걸을 수 없을 때 사용한다. (Mokbareun barina darireul dachyeo jal georeul su eopseul ttae sayonghanda., “We use crutches when we don't walk well due to foot or leg injuries.”)