The paper stresses the need to distinguish between two subtypes of binary laryngeal systems, viz. [voice] languages versus [spread glottis] languages (“laryngeal realism”—Honeybone 2005). It criticizes the use of the primes H and L for this distinction in Government Phonology, and proposes an alternative representation, based on Backley-Takahashi (1998) and Nasukawa-Backley (2005). This feature geometric model assumes the same set of melodic components for obstruents and sonorants within a system but with a difference in the status of source elements across the language types. Therefore, accompanied by the mechanism of element activation, it is claimed to capture the cross-linguistic observations more adequately.