6. to sound in damages: in legal use, to be concerned only with damages. Also to sound in tort, to sound in contract, etc.
1780 M. Madan Thelyphthora II. 153 There is not one [change] which does not sound in damages, as our lawyers speak.
- Which homonym and false cognate listed in Etymonline (below) fits 'sound'? Is this actually a third?
v1: early 13c., sounen "to be audible, produce vibrations affecting the ear," from Old French soner (Modern French sonner) and directly from Latin sonare "to sound, make a noise," "to sound," from PIE *swene-, from root *swen- "to sound." From late 14c. as "cause something (an instrument, etc.) to produce sound." Related: Sounded; sounding.
v2: "fathom, probe, measure the depth of," mid-14c. (implied in sounding), from Old French sonder, from sonde "sounding line," perhaps from the same Germanic source that yielded Old English sund "water, sea" (see sound (n.2)). Barnhart dismisses the old theory that it is from Latin subundare. Figurative use from 1570s. 2. How did 'sound' (v. 1 or 2) semantically shift to mean 'to be concerned only with'?
A couple of examples from English judges
...The law simply imposes an obligation on the party who made the request to pay a reasonable sum for such work as has been done pursuant to that request, such an obligation sounding in quasi contract or, as we now say, in restitution.
Anson's Law of Contract (2016 30 ed). p. 180.
In the Investors Compensation Scheme case: [...]
The exclusion from assignment clause, ‘Any claim (whether sounding in rescission for undue inﬂuence or otherwise)’ was interpreted as if it had read, ‘Any claim sounding in rescission (whether for undue inﬂuence or otherwise)’. This construction meant that only claims for rescission, and not for damages, against the building societies were excluded from the assignment.