False vocal cords are more properly called vestibular folds and are folds of mucous membrane that cover the vestibular ligaments. They are located above and to the side of the true vocal cords. These ligaments regulate speech, swallowing and other important functions of the throat.
False vocal cords differ from true vocal cords by their lack of vibration during speech. They are used in certain types of deep vocalization, as in Tibetan chant, and may close during speech in individuals with voice disorders such as muscle tension dysphonia. This closing is due to the disorder causing increased muscular tension while speaking.