The Chorda Tympani Nerve is given off from the facial as it passes downward behind the tympanic cavity, about 6 mm. from the stylomastoid foramen.
It runs upward and forward in a canal, and enters the tympanic cavity, through an aperture (iter chordæ posterius) on its posterior wall, close to the medial surface of the posterior border of the tympanic membrane and on a level with the upper end of the manubrium of the malleus.
It traverses the tympanic cavity, between the fibrous and mucous layers of the tympanic membrane, crosses the manubrium of the malleus, and emerges from the cavity through a foramen situated at the inner end of the petrotympanic fissure, and named the iter chordæ anterius (canal of Huguier).
It then descends between the Pterygoideus externus and internus on the medial surface of the spina angularis of the sphenoid, which it sometimes grooves, and joins, at an acute angle, the posterior border of the lingual nerve.
It receives a few efferent fibers from the motor root; these enter the submaxillary ganglion, and through it are distributed to the submaxillary and sublingual glands; the majority of its fibers are afferent, and are continued onward through the muscular substance of the tongue to the mucous membrane covering its anterior two-thirds; they constitute the nerve of taste for this portion of the tongue. Before uniting with the lingual nerve the chorda tympani is joined by a small branch from the otic ganglion.