Phonetic symbol. Phonetic symbols are used to represent, in print, the different sounds that make up words. In this website (and everywhere else, excepting specialized Linguistic journals or books) the term phonetic symbol refers to what would be strictly called phonemic symbol, i.e. symbols that represent different phonemes.What is a linguistic symbol?
A symbolic linguistic representation is a representation of an utterance that uses symbols to represent linguistic information about the utterance, such as information about phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, or semantics.