Aphonia is defined by Webster as being a "loss of voice or vocal utterance, due to disorder of the vocal cords." Moreover, to enlarge on this simple definition, vocal utterance is defined as an "element of speech consisting of pure vocal tone." Thus, nothwithstanding an individual by whispering may express himself in words and make himself understood from a variable distance away, he has nevertheless lost his voice and is suffering from what is termed aphonia. There are certain aphasias, however, whereof it is said the patient "is unable to speak." But no one ever thinks of calling this aphonia. Nor does vocal utterance in these particular cases depend on the cords.
Aphonia is a condition that so commonly confronts the modern laryngologist that apparently it is scarcely deemed worth while reporting. This subject was more popular in the past, however, for the older literature is full of
WATSON WR. APHONIA: THE REPORT OF THREE CASES. Arch Otolaryngol. 1926;4(1):46–50. doi:10.1001/archotol.1926.00590010056005
Artificial Intelligence Resource Center
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.