The article deals with the formation of the copular meaning of the verb stat’. The analysis of direct and indirect data allows to conclude that originally the initialization semantics of the copula stat’ was combined with the connotation of discovery (emergentiality). This connotation, maintained for quite a long time, influenced the usage of the copular verb, and this explains certain peculiarities of its usage in the compound nominal predicate and in a wide range of other syntactic structures. In the modern Russian the verb stat’ often retains the emergential connotation. Since such cases are mostly found in colloquial usage, which shows that it was in the colloquial language that the copular verb stat’ originated.