Select languages to compare:

Welcome to L1-L2map. L1-L2map is implemented as a wiki, to which you may be able to contribute, too (see below). But if you want to get started straight away, just select “Languages” from the menu at the top of the page.
This website is best viewed if you have the DoulosSil font installed.

L1-L2map is a tool for contrastive analysis of the phonetic segment inventories of over 500 languages. The language data is based on the UCLA Phonetic Segment Inventory Database, UPSID (Maddieson, 1984). The UPSID data has been extended a) by the addition of new languages and b) by adding positional information for the consonants.
If you want to obtain information about the languages in the UPSID database, but are not interested in a contrastive analysis, you can use the simple user interface developed by Henning Reetz.
USING L1-L2map

L1-L2map can be used in two ways: anyone interested in the comparison of languages can access the database on-line, or if you are a CAPT developer you can integrate L1-L2map into your own CAPT system. The system can be accessed for free by all users.
  • on-line:
    L1-L2map can be accessed on-line by selecting “Languages” from the menu at the top of this page. The results of the contrastive analysis of the languages you select are shown in tables which are very similar to the IPA charts, with an intuitive colour coding for sounds occurring only in L1 (source language, blue), sounds only occurring in L2 (target language, red) or sounds occurring in both (green).
    Information about the syllable positions in which the consonants can occur in a language (onset, nucleus, coda) is important for language learners: Even if you have a given sound in your mother tongue, it may be hard to pronounce in unusual syllable positions. This information can be viewed by clicking “View positions” in the top left-hand corner of the consonant chart. It is only accessible if positional information is available for both L1 and L2.
  • in CAPT:
    L1-L2map can also be accessed by sending a query to the client/server system. The query has the following form:
    It will output a list of all sounds from L2 which do not occur in L1, i.e. the sounds a language learner would need to train.
    We have developed a CAPT system for Norwegian called CALST, which uses information from L1-L2map to select relevant listening exercises depending on the user’s mother tongue.

Jacques Koreman, Olaf Husby and Preben Wik are responsible for the structure and design of L1-L2map, together with Øyvind Bech who has implemented the system

We are grateful for help in making L1-L2map even better. L1-L2map is a wiki, and researchers with a phonetic-phonological background are invited to contribute by sending an e-mail to Once you have been granted language expert privileges, you can contribute with a revision/addition of the data for your mother tongue, and/or with the addition of positional information. It is also possible to define the sound inventories for dialects of your mother tongue, as was done for Norwegian. The reason for doing this for Norwegian is that the language does not have an accepted standard pronunciation.

Husby, O., & Øvregaard, Å., Wik, P., Bech, Ø., Albertsen, E., Nefzaoui, S., Skarpnes, E. & Koreman, J. (2011). Dealing with L1 background and L2 dialects in Norwegian CAPT, Proc. of the workshop on Speech and Language Technology in Education (SLaTE2011), Venice (Italy).
Koreman, J., Husby, O. & Wik, P. (2012). Comparing sound inventories for CAPT, in: O. Engwall (ed.), Proc. International Symposium on the Automatic Detection of Errors in Pronunciation Training (IS-ADEPT), Stockholm, 115-116. Stockholm: KTH, Computer Science and Communication (abstract).
Koreman, J., Bech, Ø., Husby, O. & Wik, P. (2011). L1-L2map: a tool for multi-lingual contrastive analysis, Proc. 17th Int. Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS2011), Hong Kong.
Maddieson, I. 1984. Patterns of Sounds. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Wik, P., Husby, O., Øvregaard, Å, Bech, Ø, Albertsen, E., Nefzaoui, S., Skarpnes, E & Koreman, J. (2011). Contrastive analysis through L1-L2map, Proc. FONETIK 2011, Stockholm (Sweden), pp. 49-52.