phonetics, phonetic: Phonetics is the study of the sounds of language from a (relatively) detailed and objective perspective, one which does not take into consideration how the sounds function in the particular language's linguistic system. It is the part of phonology which is concerned with how sounds are produced and what they are like acoustically. Phonetic material is often written between square brackets [1]; e.g. [n] means "the sound n, whether it is phonemic or not." [Spanish: fonética, fonético]