Entry: aphonia (n.)
In context: "...the strangled and impeded sounds of absolute aphonia..."
Definition: Aphonia is the inability to speak. It is considered more severe than dysphonia. A primary cause of aphonia is bilateral disruption of the recurrent laryngeal nerve, which supplies nearly all the muscles in the larynx. Damage to the nerve may be the result of surgery (e.g., thyroidectomy) or a tumor.
Aphonia means "no sound." In other words, a person with this disorder has lost his/her voice.
Other: Dysphonia, in case you were wondering:
Dysphonia is the medical term for disorders of the voice: an impairment in the ability to produce voice sounds using the vocal organs (it is distinct from dysarthria which means disorders of speech, that is, an impairment in the ability to produce spoken words). Thus, dysphonia is a phonation disorder. The dysphonic voice can be hoarse or excessively breathy, harsh, or rough, but some kind of phonation is still possible (contrasted with the more severe aphonia where phonation is impossible).
I'm trying not to give too much away with the In Context section.