Pulmonary and chest wall mechanics were studied in 18 anesthetized paralyzed supine humans by use of the technique of rapid airway occlusion during constant-flow inflation. Analysis of the changes in transpulmonary pressure after flow interruption allowed partitioning of the overall resistance of the lung (RL) into two compartments, one (Rint,L) reflecting airway resistance and the other (delta RL) representing the viscoelastic properties of the pulmonary tissues. Similar analysis of the changes in esophageal pressure indicates that chest wall resistance (RW) was due entirely to the viscoelastic properties of the chest wall tissues (delta RW = RW). In line with previous measurements of airway resistance, Rint,L increased with increasing flow and decreased with increasing volume. The opposite was true for both delta RL and delta RW. This behavior was interpreted in terms of a viscoelastic model that allowed computation of the viscoelastic constants of the lung and chest wall. This model also accounts for frequency, volume, and flow dependence of elastance of the lung and chest wall. Static and dynamic elastances, as well as delta R, were higher for the lung than for the chest wall.