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 (Hangeul, “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) 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) 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 gohyangjipeul chateul geotirago haetda., “He said he will visit his hometown by this chance.”)
- (future, guess) 물이 차가울 것 같다. (muli 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 chagawoteul geot gatda., “I guess the water was cold.”)
- (no tense) 그가 하는 말 중에 믿을 만한 것이 있을 리가 없다. (Geuga haneun mal junge miteul 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. (mokbaleun balina darireul dachyeo jal geoleul su eopseul ttae sayonghanda., “We use crutches when we don't walk well due to foot or leg injuries.”)