Key words: verb, communication verb, speech act verb, speech verb, communication verb classification, English communication verbs.
The article focuses on a classification of communicative verbs in the Modern English Language. Communication verbs or speech act verbs belong to an important layer of the English vocabulary; they are heterogeneous in character, and, therefore, present a challenge for their classification. There exist a number of various classifications proposed by different scholars, but in this study an attempt to provide an alternative classification of communication verbs is made; it is based on their relation to the speech act. The analysis was conducted both by means of seminal lexicographic sources such as Oxford English Dictionary, Meriam Webster’s Unabridged English Dictionary and were verified in the British National Corpus (BNC) . There are two speech act levels, one is a reporting activity, the other — a description of a communicative event itself. The centre of the semantic field of communication verbs consists of vocabulary units that are characterized by a higher density of semantic relations between the semes, have more generalized meanings as in “to say, to tell, to speak, to order”, etc., and peripheral verbs characterized by a lower density and more specific meanings, as in the case of the verbs “to coo, to bleat, to pooh-pooh, snub, tisk, clam up”, etc. Not only the verbs expressing speaking belong to communication verbs, but also those that accompany speaking such as inchoative verbs, metaphorised verbs expressing sound of animals etc.