Sub*ton"ic (?), a. (Phonetics)
Applied to, or distinguishing, a speech element consisting of
tone, or proper vocal sound, not pure as in the vowels, but dimmed and
otherwise modified by some kind of obstruction in the oral or the
nasal passage, and in some cases with a mixture of breath sound; -- a
term introduced by Dr. James Rush in 1833. See Guide to
Pronunciation, §§155, 199-202.
Sub*ton"ic, n. 1.
(Phonetics) A subtonic sound or element; a vocal
consonant, as b, d, g, n, etc.; a
2. (Mus.) The seventh tone of the
scale, or that immediately below the tonic; -- called also