Date: Sat, 15 Nov 1997 16:15:35 -0500
From: Beverly Flanigan FLANIGAN[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]OUVAXA.CATS.OHIOU.EDU
Subject: Re: stay and live
A more likely, and older, origin of "stay"="live" is the use of 'stay'
as a progressive marker in English-based creoles, as in "He stay
walk"=He is/was walking," "He bin stay walk"=He had been walking," etc.
The transfer of the English sense of continuousness first to creole
verb aspect and later back again to the single lexical item meaning
continuous residence is well motivated. This assumes at least a
partial creole influence on American Black English, of course.
On 'cop': I always heard it came from "civilian on patrol" (Brit.,
something like a neighborhood crime watch?). Is this completely
apocryphal? To assume 'cop' comes from 'catch' seems farfetched; but I
suppose we should check our Old and Middle English dictionaries. On
"cop a plea": As I recall, Roger Abrahams traced this in the 70s to
Black English street plea-bargaining, but I haven't got my citation